In 2006, St. Luke’s Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, the Cedar Rapids Medical Education Foundation, the Community Health Free Clinic, Linn County Public Health and other local leaders came together to seek out a solution to a growing problem in our community. Far too often patients were visiting the emergency room with health problems that had reached a crisis level. Manageable conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure were now causing bigger, life-threatening problems.
But why? Why in 2006 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa was this happening? The answer is that low income community members had no medical home. No one to make sure they were taking their medications. No one to ensure they had medical coverage and could access needed prescriptions. So they waited to visit the doctor until there was no other choice.
The solution was to develop a medical home in Cedar Rapids for our neighbors struggling in poverty. An application for a Federally Qualified Health Center with an emphasis on medical education and homeless services was submitted. Linn Community Care was born, now known today as the Eastern Iowa Health Center. In the first year, the center had roughly 11,000 patient visits.
In the early days, Linn Community Care lived a bit of a nomadic existence. Growing in size and patients, in 2009 we moved the health center to 1201 3rd Avenue SE. Our growth has continued to flourish. In 2017 Eastern Iowa Health Center expanded to include three health centers:
With the large growth, Eastern Iowa Health Center is now serving more 15,000 patients per year with over 56,000 patient visits.
"The doctor made me feel comfortable right away. She took time to ask questions and listen to me." - Roy