03:19 AM

Ohio State’s Total Health & Wellness Center to expand services with new federal designation

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Total Health & Wellness Center at University Hospital East has qualified to provide expanded primary care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay after receiving a significant federal designation.

The Total Health & Wellness Center (THW), established in late 2012 as Ohio State’s first health practice to be run entirely by nurses, has been awarded Federal Qualified Health Center Look-Alike status by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Primary Health Care. Under this designation, THW is recognized as an organization that provides high-quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay.

With Look-Alike designation, THW will receive increased reimbursements, improve access to qualified health care providers, and develop a pharmacy with reduced pricing on prescription and non-prescription medications for patients.

“We are very dedicated to continuing to provide critically needed comprehensive primary care services to optimize health and well-being in our community,” said Bernadette Melnyk, vice president for health promotion and dean, College of Nursing. “Our team approach to care is led by nurse practitioners and includes interprofessional health professionals who are dedicated to providing the best evidence-based physical and mental health care.”

THW is located at University Hospital East and operated by The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Led by Director Candy Rinehart, the center offers a distinctive nurse practitioner-led comprehensive primary care practice with a multidisciplinary team providing an evidence-based approach to integrated physical and mental health care for people across the life span. The staff at the center is composed of family nurse practitioners, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and mental health counselors, pharmacists, dietitians and social workers, as well as nursing and other health science students.

“The Total Health and Wellness Center provides timely access to comprehensive health care for our local community for both prevention and chronic disease care,” said THW Board President Carolyn Slack. “The community’s response has been exciting and the practice is growing, primarily by word of mouth. The center and Ohio State are strong assets that our community trusts.”

THW serves neighboring communities in Columbus and Franklin County, including patients covered by commercial insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, and the uninsured. Services include:

  • family practice care to individuals of all ages, including children and adolescents
  • health and wellness screening and education
  • management of new health concerns
  • care and ongoing management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart failure and others
  • routine physical exams, health and wellness screenings and vaccines
  • basic women’s services, including pap smears and birth control, as well as plans to soon provide prenatal care
  • health education to help reach optimal wellness
  • mental health counseling and evidence-based programs for conditions such as depression and anxiety
  • healthy lifestyle programs

The THW is the 50th health center in Ohio to receive FQHC designation, which indicates it meets all of the eligibility requirements of an organization that receives a Public Health Service Section 330 grant, but does not receive grant funding. With this designation, the THW will ensure health care for underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

THW has provided nearly 16,000 patient visits since it was established. For more information, visit nursing.osu.edu/thw.