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North Country HealthCare and Williams Hospital District plan partnership
New operator begins in January

Ryan Williams/WGCN<br>
Negotiations are currently being held with North Country HealthCare to replace Banner HealthCare at the Williams Health Care Center.

Ryan Williams/WGCN<br> Negotiations are currently being held with North Country HealthCare to replace Banner HealthCare at the Williams Health Care Center.

WILLIAMS - On Aug. 25, the Williams Hospital District Board voted to enter into negotiations with North Country HealthCare to replace Banner Health as the operator of the Williams Health Care Center (WHCC) beginning in January. The district released a request for proposal in early June after Banner Health notified the district board that it would not be continuing its lease.

WHCC, which serves the city of Williams and surrounding areas, provides urgent care services, operates a primary care/internal medicine practice, and provides radiology, laboratory, and physical therapy services.

Building upon existing services offered at WHCC, North Country HealthCare has proposed a range of services in Williams that will include: diagnosis, treatment and referral for an illness, management of chronic diseases, physical therapy, perinatal outreach, well woman checks, well child services/immunizations, laboratory and radiology, urgent care services and preventive care/health education. North Country HealthCare is a federally qualified health center that accepts most insurance plans and also has a sliding fee scale for medical services.

North Country HealthCare provides services that enable patients to receive timely, quality healthcare. North Country will be working with the district board to identify community needs over the next several months and discuss any expanded services at the WHCC.

North Country offers a number of services to eligible individuals through their outreach division, including free cancer screening programs (breast, cervical and colorectal cancer, as well as radiation exposure for downwinders), HIV primary care and specialty services, maternal and child health, and a childhood literacy program. North Country also assists patients with enrolling in AHCCCS.

In addition, North Country houses the Northern Arizona Health Education Center (NAHEC), a program dedicated to promote health profession careers across the region. The NAHEC program provides opportunities for high school, college and health profession students to participate in health education programs. North Country provides preceptorships for medical, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, dental, and radiology students.

North Country HealthCare is a community health center that provides primary care services to people regardless of their ability to pay. The organization was founded by a small group of volunteers in 1991 as the Flagstaff Free clinic, and it became a community health center in 1996. Since then North Country has grown to include 12 clinic locations and 350 employees across northern Arizona.

The district, which has successfully operated the WHCC under lease with Banner Health since 1986, is looking forward to a new partnership with North Country. The district and North Country will work hard to continue providing the same great care the center's patients have come to expect, in addition to providing expanded services with improved access to medical care.

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