ROMEOVILLE – A new health care center in Romeoville that specializes in serving low-income and uninsured residents is set to open for business Thursday.
VNA Health Care has moved from its temporary location at 48 S. Weber Road into a new, 10,340-square-foot clinic at 160 N. Independence Drive on Route 53.
Officials of VNA, the village of Romeoville and several other local governments and organizations were given a sneak peek Friday afternoon at the new facility at a ribbon-cutting event.
“We are proud to be here,” VNA President and CEO Linnea Windel said. “As a federally qualified health center, VNA Health Care offers access to primary care through family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and psychiatry for a broad population.”
Accessible health care
VNA provides primary health care for adults and children. But it is also a federally qualified health center, meaning it gets reimbursed for accepting patients with Medicare and Medicaid.
VNA has nine other centers spanning Joliet, Aurora, Bensenville, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream and Elgin.
“We also accept patients who don’t have any insurance at all,” VNA Marketing Director Amy Downing said. “We do accept some private insurers as well as those on Medicare.”
Signs on the door read in English and Spanish. And all the front-line staff are bilingual, Downing said.
The center has three wings with 22 exam rooms. VNA will start out with one or two primary practitioners, but will expand as demand grows, Downing said, filling out the three wings of the building.
Also, there is up to 6,691 square feet of expansion space for the center on the 3.8 acres of land.
The center also has a dedicated lab, which will be used primarily for blood tests and pregnancy exams.
But the unique part about the facility could be the commercial kitchen, which will be a center for culinary learning.
“We do healthy cooking classes, a lot of wellness classes, classes for people with diabetes and how to live well,” Downing said.
Even U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) quipped at the innovation of commercial kitchens in health care settings.
Foster noted that Congress argues about health care issues.
But a true impact is felt when representatives and senators come back to the waiting rooms in their local centers.
“You see the nervous look on [parents’] faces on where they don’t know if they’ll be able to take care of their kids or not,” Foster said.
Village Trustee Dave Richards, who represented Mayor John Noak and the Romeoville Village Board, said VNA Health Care was an exciting project that took two years.
“Our long-term goal has been to provide quality and affordable health care to the residents of Romeoville,” Richards said.