Jordan Valley facility named for Sen. Roy Blunt, who championed clinic

Despite the cold temperatures and wind, more than 100 people gathered outside Thursday afternoon for the dedication of Jordan Valley Community Health Center’s newest addition — The Roy Blunt Center for Family Health and Wellness. 

“Our history and our future are in large part due to the work of our United States Sen. Roy Blunt, who we want to thank and congratulate for his contributions to health care,” said Mike Schnake, JVCHC board chair, during the dedication ceremony.

Blunt was busy in Springfield on Thursday and Friday. He gave the commencement address at Missouri State University, attended the terminal renaming in his honor at Branson-Springfield National Airport and attended the groundbreaking for the addition to the building formerly known as Temple Hall — now Roy Blunt Hall — on MSU’s campus.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt speaks at a dedications of Jordan Valley Community Health Center's new building named after him, the Roy Blunt Center for Family Health and Wellness, at the corner of Kansas Expressway and Grand Street on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.

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The new health center, which is housed in what used to be a Price Cutter on the corner of Grand Street and Kansas Expressway, offers a central location for women and children to receive care. There, people can access outpatient surgical procedures in one of the four operating rooms, vision services, dental services and medical care. Schnake estimates that about 41,000 patients will visit the center annually. 

A surgical suite in the new Roy Blunt Center for Family Health and Wellness at the corner of Kansas Expressway and Grand Street on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.

Blunt’s work in Congress helped pave way for community health center

The women and children’s section of the center will open to patients on Jan. 3, 2023 — nearly 20 years to the day that JVCHC opened its first location in a strip mall on Division Street. The sole provider for that initial clinic spoke at Thursday’s dedication.

“Who would have thought a little tiny clinic out on West Division, with just a few of us out there, would turn into this? It’s amazing,” said John Bentley, a retired physician.

Now, JVCHC has over 700 employees. They see 22,000 patient visits annually from 38 Missouri counties, according to Schnake.

The success of the area health centers, as well as health centers around the country, is due in part to Blunt’s efforts in Congress, according to Amanda Pears Kelly, CEO of Advocates for Community Health.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center unveiled the new Roy Blunt Center for Family Health and Wellness at the corner of Kansas Expressway and Grand Street on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.

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“When the senator took office, health center program was just a fraction of what it is today, serving millions but nowhere near where we are,” Pears Kelly said. “Over the decades of (Blunt’s) time in office, because of his vision and leadership, he helped to grow and support the health center program to where it is today: 1,400 health centers across this country in every single state and territory in the nation, serving 33 million patients and growing every day. He is an enormous part of what made that possible.”

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