Hamilton Health Center plans to begin raising funds for a three-part, $14 million project at its 17th St. headquarters that would provide greater services in and around the city’s South Allison Hill neighborhood.
The three projects, announced by CEO Jeannine Peterson Thursday night at the center’s 50th Anniversary Golden Gala at Hershey Lodge, which can be developed independently from one another, include the a women and children’s department, a fresh food distribution center and a workforce development program.
The women and children’s department would combine the center’s women, infant and children services as well as its case management programs to help families better navigate the system’s supportive services, said Peterson.
Hamilton, which receives funds through the federal Department of Health and Human Services, also plans to address its community’s food insecurity through a fresh food distribution center that would expand upon the first floor of the 110 S 17th St. Hamilton Health Center.
As a part of the fresh food initiative, Hamilton also plans to install an industrial teaching kitchen that would give patients and clients a place to learn how to cook healthy meals for their families.
The third expansion to the headquarters involves a new workforce development program. Peterson said Hamilton’s growth in recent years has created a severe need for a more reliable workforce pipeline that the center will be looking at filling with a new classroom experience in its main facility.
“The program will target low income individuals to help them build careers in the health care field,” she said. “Developing our own workforce pipeline will not only help us fill our vacancies but give our target population opportunities for financial security.”
As a part of the initiative, Hamilton is also exploring a certified nurse practitioner program and a partnership with Penn State Health that would provide clinical rotations for family practice, pediatric or internal medicine residents.
Hamilton has already invested $1 million into the new project and plans to announce a capital campaign in the coming months.
The project outlined by Peterson, shows the direction the center will be going in the coming years.
“Researchers found that primary care providers must address a patients social and economic conditions to help and approve the health outcomes of the population,” said Peterson. “In our community, the issues of poverty, low literacy and food insecurity are significantly impacting our resident’s health conditions and behaviors.”
Hamilton operates six facilities and is primarily focused in the capital region where it offers dental care, podiatry, mental health services, family planning and more. Hamilton provides outpatient services to the city’s underserved population, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.