The center, which local officials dedicated Monday, offers primary care, dentistry, a pharmacy and more.
A new community health center in Central Falls may fill gaps left by the closure of Pawtucket's Memorial Hospital.
The health center offers a wide range of care: a pharmacy, dentistry, a rehabilitation center and more. The hope, officials say, is that offering so much in one place will make the city's population healthier and decrease emergency room visits.
“A lot of people go to the emergency room when they have a cough, cold, or headache because there’s no place else for them to go. All of a sudden there’s a place for them to go in Central Falls,” said Michael Fine, the city's chief health strategist.
The center held a dedication Monday that attracted city officials and members of the state's congressional delegation. Among the speakers at the dedication was Samantha Ortiz-Muriel, a patient at the center. Growing up in Pawtucket, Ortiz-Muriel and her family were undocumented and uninsured. She said she knows a lot of people who grew up in similar circumstances, and it has consequences.
"You don't treat what you need to treat, so things get complicated," she said. "I didn't go to the dentist for so long, now I have so many problems I need to solve with my teeth."
City officials say the center won’t turn someone away if they can’t pay, if they’re uninsured or if they’re undocumented.