PAOLI– Long-time medical provider Southern Indiana Community Health Care (SICHC) formally launched its new obstetrics services in Crawford and Martin counties in early August. The new OB service will now provide a full spectrum of services, including well-woman visits, female health, birth control, pregnancy care (pre-natal and post-partum), well-baby care, tobacco cessation and other OB-related services.
“We are very pleased to introduce these new services locally in what has sometimes been described as a medical desert for critical OB services for pregnant mothers and babies,” said Dr. Yolanda Yoder, MD, SICHC medical director. “We are excited that our medical professionals will begin seeing obstetrics and gynecology patients this month in Crawford and Martin counties.” SICHC is also planning to bring OB services to the Salem area in Washington county later in August.
The new OB services will be provided at rural facilities in English, Marengo and Shoals. The facilities provide convenient access and reduce barriers of transportation in securing quality health care, including being closer to under-served Hoosier mothers and segments of Indiana’s Amish population. The services in Shoals will take place at the Hoosier Uplands Health Department/WIC site, which is partnering with SICHC to provide a broad spectrum of services.
“Rural Indiana faces real challenges in combating infant mortality and securing quality pre-natal, pregnancy, post-partum and well-baby care, and we are grateful to see SICHC stepping up to deliver these important health care services where there is a demonstrated critical need,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “SICHC’s demonstrated commitment to provide health care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay represents a real asset in these medically underserved and economically challenged areas of southern Indiana.”
A traveling Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Missy Ray, MSN, will serve OB patients in the three offices. In addition to holding a master’s degree in nursing with her FNP certification, Ms. Ray has considerable experience in obstetrics. SICHC has also secured the services of Dr. Karen Farris, a family practice physician, who will begin taking appointments in mid-August for OB patients in the SICHC Valley Health Care office in West Baden Indiana (Orange County).
Service to OB patients will be directly coordinated with the selected delivering physician, including secure video, phone, and electronic connectivity with the physician during prenatal visits. Patients will transition to direct physician care at 36 weeks in SICHC’s Paoli or West Baden offices until delivery, which will take place at the IU Health hospital in Paoli, according to Dr. Yoder. Transportation assistance is available for patients in need.
“SICHC has a demonstrated passion for providing medical services to communities and regions in southern Indiana that sometimes face serious challenges in securing access to health care,” said Nancy Radcliff, SICHC CEO. “We are privileged to continue to do what it takes – even seeing patients in our facilities parking lots during this time of COVID-19 – to support the patients, families and rural communities in our southern Indiana region.”
SICHC OB services will be offered at three locations:
• Uplands Health Department/WIC - 127 West Water Street, Shoals, IN
• Patoka Health Care - 307 S Indiana Ave, English, IN
• Crawford County Health Care - 5604 E. White Oak Lane, Marengo, IN
Hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (EDT), with offices closed for lunch between noon and 1 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please call 812-723-3944 and specify the location.
Another new SICHC OB service site will be operational this fall in Salem, Indiana, in Washington County.
About the Southern Indiana Community Health Care (SICHC) nonprofit organization – Well-known as a high-impact health care provider committed to continuity of care, the nonprofit Southern Indiana Community Health Care (SICHC) organization is committed to providing high-quality, comprehensive, community-sensitive health care utilizing Christ-centered principles to medically underserved, rural communities. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), SICHC serves as a “safety net” provider for vulnerable populations and focuses on increasing access to primary care services for Medicaid and Medicare patients in rural communities. SICHC offers medical care in medically underserved areas of Crawford, Martin, Orange, and Washington counties. SICHC is a member of the National Health Services Corps and receives program funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SICHC offers services to all persons, regardless of the person’s ability to pay. For more information, please visit https://sichc.org/