Health center aims to serve thousands of more patients at new Evanston location

+The+Erie+Evanston%2FSkokie+Health+Center+opens+Monday+at+1285+Hartrey+Ave.+The+health+center+is+expected+to+care+for+thousands+more+patients+at+the+new+location.

Source: Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center

The Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center opens Monday at 1285 Hartrey Ave. The health center is expected to care for thousands more patients at the new location.

Julian Gerez, Reporter

The Erie Evanston/Skokie Family Health Center will open Monday at a new location, where it hopes to care for about double the number of patients it has been serving at a temporary site for the past year.

The 16,000-square-foot facility, 1285 Hartrey Ave., will be the first location in the Erie Family Center network outside of Chicago, where there are 11 sites.

The health center seeks to offer high-quality health services for those in the Evanston and Skokie communities who do not have adequate health coverage. The center has been operating at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center since October 2012.

Tiosha Goss, director of the center, said it has provided health services for more than 2,250 patients. Its newest location will now be able to care for more than 5,500 people at the expanded, state-of-the-art facility.

In addition to providing health care to those in need, the Hartrey Avenue location will offer dental care, prenatal care, behavioral health and counseling as well as health education classes. There will also be a dedicated playroom for children.

When the health center’s temporary location opened, president and CEO Dr. Lee Francis hailed it as a long-awaited resource for the North Shore.

“For more than half a century, Erie has been in the communities where we are needed most,” Francis said in a news release at the time. “Right now, there is a growing need for primary care providers in the suburbs, so we are thrilled to be able to expand our health care services by branching out into Evanston and Skokie to meet increased patient demand.”

Because Erie Family Health Center is an independent, nonprofit organization, the new location was made possible by a $1 million grant from the North Suburban Healthcare Foundation. Beverly Kroll, chair of the North Suburban Healthcare Foundation, said in May that her group supports the health center’s “critical objective” — providing high-quality care to the neediest members of the community.

Even at its temporary location, the health center received a warm reception from city officials.

“I am so excited that this much-awaited day is here marking the opening of a world-class health center right here in the heart of Evanston,” Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said when the temporary site opened. “But more importantly, I am delighted that many more Evanston area residents and their families will now have access to much-needed, affordable health care.”

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