It’s easy for Ann Hagan-Grigsby, CEO of Park DuValle Community Health Center, to joke about the rickety sign in the hard-to-reach alley where the organization’s City View location has served the Russell neighborhood since 1986.
She can joke about it because she expects a new $3 million health center to open and be ready to serve patients at 15th and West Broadway. The 11,000-square-foot Russell Neighborhood Health Center, to be operated by Park Duvalle, will have expanded services to include pediatrics, women’s health, and behavioral health using telehealth technologies.
“It’s an honor to bring additional affordable accessible services for those who may not be able to pay,” said Hagan-Grigsby, adding that the existing City View site will remain open until the new facility is completed. “We’re open for anyone who has a pulse.”
The organization operates thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, providing health services to patients living in medically underserved communities. It began 50 years ago, started by former Mayor Harvey Sloane. With locations on Wilson Avenue, in Newburg, and in Spencer County, Park Duvalle has been nationally recognized for its quality service.
During the October 26 groundbreaking for the new West End location, Chief Financial Officer David Gerwig said it had taken the nonprofit’s board four years to find the right location for the new facility.
“We searched and searched,” he said. “I’ve looked at many intersections, and it’s been a journey for this two-thirds of an acre. Now it’s going from a former liquor store to a state-of-the-art healthcare facility.”
U.S. Congressman John Yarmuth also spoke at the groundbreaking, stressing the importance of community health centers to the country’s overall health. He said he is committed to the notion that “everybody in the country deserves quality affordable health care.”
Metro Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer talked about the new facility serving local residents in the midst of an economic revival in Russell, citing the Beecher Terrace rebuild, the track facility being planned, and the new Passport and YMCA buildings flanking 18thand Broadway.
“It’s important that clinics are in areas that have historically seen injustice,” Mayor Fischer said. “We’re standing in the Russell neighborhood right now, where the legacy of redlining and urban renewal has been on full display. We’re working to make sure we’re on a comeback, and that as we regenerate the people who live here are not displaced.”
Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith touted the changes that are happening in Russell, especially in the last two-and-a-half years.
“Change is here. This is what change looks like,” she said. “There are a lot of good, tangible manifestations that we can see all around us.”