By Dini Pavlock, Marketing Director, NEW Health
The Loon Lake Health Association (LLHA), incorporated in 1990, had a vision of ensuring healthcare was available in the local community. That vision continues as LLHA has now generously donated the building that was previously leased to NEW Health to provide healthcare services in Loon Lake. The LLHA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and NEW Health is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
NEW Health began providing services in the Tri-County area in 1978. In 1985, NEW Health began to serve the Loon Lake community’s healthcare needs in a rented, 1,100 square foot mobile on Cedar Street. The state changes to healthcare entities along with demand for services offered the community the opportunity to expand into a new facility. which prompted the residents of Loon Lake to form the LLHA to fund that new facility. The original founding members were Ken Olson, Agnes Kemp, Ken and Goldie North, Walt and Jane Gaber, Jim Berger, Grady Hodges, Glenn and Muriel Travis, Lorinda Travis, Bonnie Butler, Bev Herrin, Derald Helt and Michael Dunnaway, PA-C.
The LLHA acquired the property on 3994 Colville Road through a land gift from Cynthia Shane and Babe McClure in the memory of Ida Denton-Hallaries and Fred and Bernice Munsel. The construction for the 1,700 square foot building broke ground on Aug. 26, 1992. The original building was designed with four exam rooms, a minor surgery room, lab, office, waiting room and small breakroom. With the generous land donation, the construction costs were made up of private donations from the community and LLHA financing. NEW Health began renting space from the LLHA upon completion and continued that long-standing relationship until the recent donation of the building.
In 2010, NEW Health received a grant for expansion and renovation of the clinic as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This renovation added two exam rooms, a second procedure room and additional space for employees. The LLHA completed the expansion project to add additional space on the front of the building for a waiting area and front entrance that provided better patient access.
The Loon Lake community has continued to be a voice for healthcare in the Tri-County area as community members sit on the governing board of NEW Health. They have also continued to support the medical clinic and its community over the years with fundraising efforts, sports physicals and bike helmets, and a program for patients who qualified for assistance.
The LLHA recognized a need for succession planning to ensure healthcare services would continue in their community and NEW Health was the natural partner to provide those services in Loon Lake. NEW Health appreciates the generous building donation that will ensure healthcare services provided by a local leadership and governance by community members for years to come.