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CHCSI ready to serve the community

The official Osceola Chamber Main Street ribbon cutting for Community Health Services of Southern Iowa was Sep. 13 at the new CHCSI Osceola location 131 W. Washington St. Pictured are OCMS board members and the CHCSI team.
The official Osceola Chamber Main Street ribbon cutting for Community Health Services of Southern Iowa was Sep. 13 at the new CHCSI Osceola location 131 W. Washington St. Pictured are OCMS board members and the CHCSI team.

Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa officially has a home in Osceola, located at 131 W. Washington St.

CHCSI began as a Federally Qualified Health Center in April of 2005 and is the only FQHC in the state that is also a Commmunity Mental Health Center. There are 125 staff members at CHCSI that provide many kinds of health care such as primary health, oral health, beavioral health, substance abuse and vision services at their 11 locations. CHCSI has a 10-county service area.

"The mission of the organization is that CHCSI will make high-quality health care accessible to everyone in our region," said Samantha Cannon, CHCSI CEO.

The organization was contacted by CROSS Mental Health and Disabilities Services Region, which believed there was a need in the Osceola area for more providers. Clarke County had been in the scope for CHCSI to put a new location for some time as it's a convenient location with interstate access to get services provided to those in the surrounding counties as well.

"We are thrilled to come to town," said Cannon.

Osceola and the surrounding counties that lack mental health services and resources benefit from having CHCSI here.

"The services that we provide are greatly needed, both in Osceola and across our state. We have a team of highly qualified staff that are committed to ensuring those in need of mental health services receive the care they deserve, regardless of their ability to pay," said Cannon.

The Osceola CHCSI location has beds for mental health patients which alleviates the hospital from those duties and keeps beds open there as well. The building is secure and the CHCSI staff encourages people to learn about what mental illness looks like and to not have a fear of it. Many people are ignorant to the signs and symptoms of mental illness and therefore believe the stigmas associated with it.

"Our staff and patients are no more dangerous than anyone you might sit next to in the doctor's office, church or grocery store. One in five Americans deal with a mental health illness every year," said Cannon.

The CHCSI staff recommends these websites for anyone with questions about mental health:

www.nami.org

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/visions/trauma-and-victimization-col3/victimization-of-people-with-mental-illness

www.chcsi.org

"Our goal is to ensure the mental health needs of the community are met and to become a long-standing business member of the community," said Cannon.

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