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AxessPointe will add a second location in Portage County for medical care

Portage County gets a second AxessPointe provide medical and other services to residents in need of care.

The community health center is about to move into space inside a building on Oakwood Street in Ravenna which previously housed the Portage County Health District

After:Kent healthcare facility to expand and add mobile medical unit

Marc FrisonCEO of AxessPointe and Family & Community Services, owner of the Oakwood Street building, said another needed federally licensed health centerr in Portage County. About 16% to 18% of the current AxessPointe in Kent patient base comes from postcodes in the Ravenna area.

According to the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, federally licensed health centers must serve an underserved area or population, offer a sliding fee scale based on family income for those who cannot afford care, and provide comprehensive services.

Frisian recently applied for and received $98,136 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding from the Portage County Commissioners.

Commissioners said the approval is subject to approval of expenditures by county legal counsel.

Commissioner Sabrina Christian-Bennett asked Frisone if any market research had been done, noting that two urgent care facilities had recently opened. But Frisone said the centers are not primary care providers, while AxessPointe offers medical care, optometry, dentistry and pharmacy services.

The health district’s move to East Main Street in Ravenna vacated 18,000 square feet on the second floor of the Oakwood Street facility, space already fitted out for medical offices, Frisone said.

Many people still come to the building seeking vaccines and other services provided by the health department since the move, he added.

“We’re talking about doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists,” Frisone said, adding that the centers generate $5 million to $7 million in payroll at each location.

Frisian said Akron and Summit County are using more than $1 million in ARPA funds to leverage a federally qualified agency. Health center near iPromise School in Akron, and AxessPointe is partnering with the LeBron James Family Foundation to bring the center there. Geauga County is also opening a federally qualified health center using ARPA funds, he said.

AxessPointe also has locations in Barberton and on Arlington Street and South Broadway Street in Akron

“The hometown boy wants to give the hometown team a chance to do one of those things,” Frisone said. “These are valuable things to have in a community.”

Christian-Bennett said she was in favor of the project.

“I think there is a need, and there will continue to be a need,” she said.

Journalist Diane Smith can be reached at 330-298-1139 or [email protected]

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