NCHC opens pharmacy

NILES — As access to healthcare continues to be a concern in the face of COVID-19, the Niles Community Health Center has debuted another option for residents to get the care they need.

The Niles Community Health Center, located at 1951 Oak St., has now opened its pharmacy. The pharmacy includes a drive-up window to serve those who may not wish to go inside the clinic, or who have mobility issues.

The center is owned and operated by Cassopolis Family Clinic Network and opened its doors at its current location in November 2019.

“I like to say we are a one stop shop,” said Rose Willson, marketing and development coordinator for the center. “It’s extremely convenient for our patients because they can have their appointment with their primary care provider, and most of the time, their prescriptions are ready for them by the time they’re checked out and ready to leave the building.”

The pharmacy accepts most commercial insurances and all Medicaid plans including Meridian, Priority Health, and all Medicare Part D plans. The pharmacy offers options for those without insurance as well.

“Since we are a federally qualified health center, we do offer a sliding fee discount program for those who are uninsured or underinsured,” Willson said.

She said that for even with those with health insurance, prescriptions are sometimes not provided coverage. The program considers family size and income.

“It’s a nationwide problem where individuals have had to ration their medication because they simply cannot afford their prescriptions,” Willson said.

The program is to help individuals access the medications that they need, and to hopefully slow any need of rationing an individual’s necessary prescriptions Wilson said.

“Community health centers are at the front lines of this problem really making it affordable so that family don’t have to choose between health and financial situations,” she said.

The Niles Community Health Center has been a part of the community since its original location across from the hospital was opened in 2014. The center quickly outgrew the first location, requiring it to grow into a larger facility to serve more patients.

To access the pharmacy’s services, one does not need to be a patient of the center. However, Willson said residents that there are benefits to becoming a patient first.

“The pharmacist and care provider work very closely to ensure that the medications that patients are taking are the right ones for them,” Willson said. “They have full access to each other to ask questions, and prior authorization is easier to get since we are all in the same building.”

The health center, like other health facilities around the area, has shifted some of its operations in the face of COVID-19. Many appointments and check-ups have been shifted to a. telemedicine format for the time being.

“With COVID-19, the face of healthcare has changed immensely,” Willson said. “Everyone across our country is changing the way we do things.”

Patients are screened before entering the health center and the pharmacy. Patients utilizing the pharmacy services are encouraged to use the drive-up window to limit the number of patients inside the building.

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Log: Feb. 15-22

Dowagiac

SMC graduate experiences Super Bowl

Dowagiac

Dowagiac women aim to create change through local government

Dowagiac

SMC COVID task force leader talks with Dowagiac Rotary Club

Business

Niles roller rink reopens following legal battle

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces community wide survey to learn about COVID-19’s impact

Cass County

Cass County prepares to adjust to criminal justice reforms

Berrien County

Michiana Family Center seeks mentors for foster teens

Business

Nobo Michigan opens Edwardsburg location

Cassopolis

Businesses battle over land use in Cassopolis’ Industrial Park

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Feb. 19-24

Berrien County

Mount Calvary Baptist to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic March 5

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports new COVID-19 death

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department, Spectrum Health Lakeland give vaccination updates

Cass County

Applications open for Cass County Sheriff’s Community Scholarship

Berrien County

Berrien County commissioners send message to state on regionalizing COVID-19 approach

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD to host superintendent interviews Monday

Cass County

Michigan Works! to open office in Cass County administration building

Business

Dollar General, marijuana microbusiness, Iron Shoe expansion coming to Niles

Dowagiac

Silver Creek Township Planning Commission tables short-term rental ordinance draft vote

News

New SOS online, self-service options coming soon

Business

Niles restaurant week to showcase 18 restaurants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 583,964 cases, 15,405 deaths

Cass County

Cass County GOP censures Congressman Fred Upton for vote against Marjorie Taylor Greene