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Published: Tuesday, 9/19/2006

Center opens for North Toledo women

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Outreach workers canvassed the neighborhood to see what residents wanted for a health center, which is located in this building on Huron Street near Lagrange Street. Outreach workers canvassed the neighborhood to see what residents wanted for a health center, which is located in this building on Huron Street near Lagrange Street.
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The Huron Street Women's Center opens its doors today to North Toledo women in need of medical assistance and an assortment of social services which organizers said have been missing for some time in the poor, underserved neighborhood.

The center, 923 North Huron, was a family practice clinic run by the Neighborhood Health Association, but Doni Miller, the chief executive officer, said the new center will be more responsive to residents.

"It was family practice center, but we wanted to do something a little different," she said. "I don't think it worked the first time around. This is a tough population, but this is why we receive funding to serve this population.

"I think things will be different."

Outreach workers canvassed the Cherry-Lagrange street area neighborhoods to identify what residents would like in a health center.

Ms. Miller said from those suggestions, the refocused cen-ter was created.

The center, located in a large house on Huron less than a block from Lagrange, will offer an array of services for women.

Nurse Marcia Young readies an examination room for today s opening of the Huron Street Women s Center. The center will offer more than just routine clinical services.
Nurse Marcia Young readies an examination room for today s opening of the Huron Street Women s Center. The center will offer more than just routine clinical services.
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The center was to have celebrated its grand reopening yesterday with a community picnic on its grounds, but the event was canceled because of the weather.

The center will be open Monday through Friday. Ms. Miller said depending on the success of the center, those hours could be expanded.

Ms. Miller said NHA purchased the home about five years ago and put about $100,000 into the facility to make it a clinic.

Katrina Furr-Hoffman, an NHA employee, said many of the residents are excited about the opening. She said women who have passed by the facility have asked when the building would be open for business.

"I know they will embrace it," Ms. Furr-Hoffman said. "I think it will be 100 percent successful. We wanted to make this a warm and welcoming atmosphere."

The first floor has two examining rooms and a waiting area with large comfortable couches instead of the stiff chairs usually found in waiting rooms. Meeting rooms and offices are located on the second floor.

Ms. Miller said the center will be more than a clinic and offer wide range of services.

Women will pay on a sliding fee scale and she said no one will be turned away because of money.

The Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program of Lucas County will offer programs once a week to help those who want to quit smoking.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a group called Parents Helping Parents will assist those in search of parenting help and dealing with children suffering from behavioral problems.

Planned Parenthood will provide HIV testing and counseling and a teen pregnancy prevention program. Harbor Behavioral Healthcare will offer support groups for women dealing with domestic violence issues and another group, Wake Up Youth Inc., will deal with women going through prostitution and substance abuse.

Brenda Brake of Parents Helping Parents said the center provides a North Toledo location to reach out to parents in that area.

Plain Talk, which works with young people on health-care issues, also will have programing. James Colbert, Plain Talk's coordinator, said it hopes to address such issues as teen pregnancies, medications, and illness prevention, among other things.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.



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