National Health Center Week celebrates affordable health care in Pottstown

Montgomery County health center aims to help families afford preventive care

POTTSTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- Community Health and Dental Care celebrated National Health Center Week and affordable health care with a health fair Friday. 

Hundreds walked the aisles under a tent on the parking lot of the center. They turned out for National Health Center Week to receive low-cost health care. Tobe Cyrus of Pottstown discovered the center 10 years ago.  

"We were taking our kids back and forth to Philly or to King of Prussia to different dentists," Cyrus said. Then, they came around, and it was like, 'Oh great! We can take our kids someplace that's local and affordable.'"  

Friday's health fair highlighted work by centers nationwide to provide low-cost care. At Community Health and Dental, about 12% of the patients do not have medical insurance. About 20% do not have dental insurance. CEO Bridgette McGivern said care can be out of reach even for those with coverage.  

"We can kind of compliment that, if you're eligible for a healthcare discount, and receive dental services that won't cost an arm and a leg to get your dental work done," McGivern said.

Families could also find medical care, physical therapy, mental healthcare, and more. Gabrielle Gnoza said she had a hard time finding a place that accepted her vision insurance.   

"It's so stressful," Gnoza said. "Like you have to call all over the place, multiple places."  

She said she may move her children's regular visits to this one-stop shop.  

"I just call and I ask if I can have both of them come in and be seen at the same time, and they're usually good with it," Gnoza said.

Cyrus said without services like this, he would spend more on dental care and gas.  

"It would look more stressed because would have to try to travel and find someplace I can go to and I can make sure the kids can get what they need and I can afford it," he said.

"We look for, 'What are the needs of the community, and how can we address that?'" said McGivern. "We listen to the people."  

National Health Center Week would wrap on Saturday. Families were invited to return for a tour of the facility.

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