New health care center planned for Dayton’s west side

Five Rivers’ facility could cost $12 million and create or retain 125 jobs.

Five Rivers Health Centers plans to build a new multi-million-dollar center in southwest Dayton to bring some of its services under one roof, expand health care services in an area in need and to have room to grow, officials said.

Five Rivers Health Centers has acquired the former Whittier school site in the Edgemont neighborhood with plans to build a roughly 50,000- to 65,000-square-foot health care facility.

The new facility could cost between $10 million and $12 million and could create or retain 125 jobs, according to information recently shared by CityWide.

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“The residents are very excited about this,” said Karen DeMasi, vice president of community development with CityWide.

The project, along with others nearby like the recently opened OneFifteen facilities to treat opioid addiction, are good news for the west side, where access to quality health care is a big concern, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

“That’s a great win for West Dayton,” she said.

The new facility will provide comparable services to the Five Rivers Family Health Center on Philadelphia Drive but also will consolidate some of the organization’s array of services that right now are at scattered sites around the Miami Valley Hospital campus.

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“We want to be the medical home for our patients,” said Kim Bramlage, marketing and communications manager for the network of health centers. “If we have this variety of services under one roof, we can better serve our patients — it’s a one-stop shop.”

Five Rivers Health Centers earlier this year spent about $16,000 at auction to purchase about 4.4 acres of land that was home to Whittier elementary.

The school, located at the northwest corner of Miami Chapel Road and Campbell Street, closed in 2001 and was demolished. In April, Five Rivers Health Centers took ownership of the property, which today is a grassy field.

The project is still in the early stages of planning, and the new center probably will not open for at least two years, said Bramlage.

Five Rivers Health Centers needs to raise funds for the project through grant applications and other sources, she said.

The network of health centers has seven sites offering services in Dayton and two in Xenia. Five Rivers has grown from 92 employees when it started in 2011 to about 246 today.

Five Rivers Health Centers plans to consolidate services and staff from about four of its sites to the new center in Edgemont.

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This includes a dental center on Apple Street, a center for women’s health and pediatrics in the Berry Women’s Center, a medical and surgical internal medicine center on Ludlow Street and a specialty clinic within Miami Valley Hospital.

“We are really outgrowing our spaces,” Bramlage said. “There’s a huge need, and we are serving a lot of patients.”

The network of health centers served more than 27,000 patients in 2018 and is the 10th largest federally qualified health center in Ohio.

Five Rivers says convenience is the goal so that patients have wrap-around services at one location.

The health centers see patients of all ages, including some without insurance, who are charged on a sliding-fee scale. More than two-thirds of the patients they serve have Medicaid. About 12 percent have Medicare, 9 percent have commercial insurance and 11 percent are self-pay, or uninsured.

Most of Five Rivers’ patients live in west and northwest Dayton.

Five Rivers Health Centers also is in the process of opening two school-based health centers in partnership with Trotwood-Madison City Schools and Dayton Public Schools.

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Southwest Dayton definitely could use more health care options, especially because many people don’t have easy access to transportation, said Mary Ellington, member of the Innerwest Priority Board Administrative Council. The proposed site is reportedly on the bus line.

“I do think it’s needed,” she said. “It sounds pretty good to me.”

Less than a mile from the Whittier site is the new OneFifteen facilities, located on Hopeland Street and inside Kindred Hospital space.

OneFifteen is a state-of-the-art campus that will have six facilities offering outpatient and inpatient residential care for people recovering from opioid addiction.

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