St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page and Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers CEO Dwayne Butler welcomed the reopening of the People’s Health Center located in the Ferguson Schnucks Market at 49 North Florissant Rd. as a COVID-19 Mitigation Outreach Program on Monday, August 17.
The clinic, officially known as People’s Healthcare Services by Home State Health, had been closed since the beginning of the pandemic.
“People’s has been a great partner in responding to this crisis, which has affected so many of our residents,” Page said. “Through these collaborative efforts, we can continue serving more people during this challenging time.”
City officials, including Ferguson Mayor Ella Jones and Ferguson Police Chief Jason P. Armstrong, were on hand for the official reopening.
“The re-opening of our Ferguson Schnucks clinic, in partnership with Centene, Home State Health, Schnucks and the County, will allow us to expand access to testing in North County and reinforce the mitigation steps necessary to avoid getting the virus in the first place,” Butler said.
“This COVID mitigation and testing program is a natural extension of our original mission to provide expanded access to the high-quality health care services and advocacy that Ferguson and North County deserve."
At the reopened clinic, residents can get free masks and gloves provided by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health; obtain information on COVID-19 drive-through testing sites and COVID-19 educational information; make medical appointments to other People’s locations; and get access information on insurance options, such as Marketplace Screening, Medicaid and Gateway to Better Health.
However, no COVID-19 testing will take place at the Ferguson clinic.
People’s was able to reopen the clinic after the county recently awarded PHC with a $578,000 CARES Act grant to enhance testing capacity in North St. Louis County, making drive-through testing sites possible. Drive through COVID-19 testing is available from 1-4:30 p.m. every Friday at Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Center’s North County site, located at 11642 West Florissant Ave.
“It’s important also that we don’t forget chronic illness and primary care as we address the issues of COVID,” Butler said. “We’ll also be encouraging the community to get back engaged with their primary care doctors. We’ll be making appointments for those who would like to have appointments with primary care doctors. Because we’re going to have to deal with COVID and make sure we are taking care of our health so that the long-term health of the community is addressed and handled.”
People’s partnered with Schnucks and Centene and Home State Health to open the clinic site a few years ago to help address the health disparities in Ferguson and surrounding communities.
Nathan Landsbaum, CEO of Home State Health Plan, said another partnership with People’s involves supplying COVID-19 test kits for the health centers.
“We provide a thousand Quest COVID-19 test kits each week,” Landsbaum said. “Home State Health will continue to do our part and be a good partner in the community to provide those COVID-19 testing kits, because it’s so critical in this time.”
Butler said, “Ultimately our goal is to educate the community on the importance of wearing masks, how to wear a mask, washing hands, and doing all the things we can control to ensure we never bring COVID into our homes in the first place.”
For more information on the COVID-19 Mitigation Outreach Program at the Ferguson People’s clinic, call 314-633-8921. For individual or group mobile testing on location, by People’s Health Centers, call 314-627-5405.