Health clinic in Denton opens new office space

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Bj Lewis/DRC
Alice Masciarelli, front left, and Dr. Filippo Masciarelli, right, hold pieces of a freshly cut ribbon for the new Denton Community Health Clinic Thursday. Members of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, other Denton health officials and members of the community also attended to the ceremony.

More space to provide more opportunity to help the community is what the Denton Community Health Clinic hopes to bring to Denton.

Officials from the nonprofit care provider cut the ribbon Thursday on a brand-new office space at 525 S. Locust St.

“With our philosophy of really wanting to give holistic care, we couldn’t stay in that [previous] place and still be effective,” said Dr. Filippo Masciarelli.

The goal of the clinic, according to officials, is to enhance access to quality, comprehensive, affordable health services for all, regardless of their ability to pay.

What started in late 2011 as a single subleased room has grown into a sprawling second-floor suite of multiple patient rooms with a newly hired nurse practitioner, a dietitian and diabetic educators in house.

“We’re independent of each other from a business perspective but definitely together on the care side,” Masciarelli said. “Our goal really is to be a one-stop shop in terms of understanding peoples’ needs. We just don’t pay lip service to that; we try to do it. I think we’re being effective at that.”

Masciarelli said the longer-term plan is to become self-sufficient — creating revenue streams by using the clinic’s abilities and doing care for insured individuals as well as uninsured.

Alice Masciarelli said the clinic launched a new plan Thursday to contract with employers to provide care for their staff members.

She said wellness programs at times do not see the results hoped for because of targeting just the physical aspect of wellness. She said it leaves out other areas like occupational health, intellectual and emotional health, social support and spirituality.

“Our employee health program will tackle all that,” she said. “They really get a global package.”

Don Place, governing board chairman for the clinic, said there are not a lot of facilities like this one in Denton, and with the poverty rate around 20 percent, it was important to provide a way for people to receive care and avoid hospital trips.

“The growth potential for our clinic and others who do similar work is amazing,” he said. “We’re hoping people find us and come and take care of their needs before they end up in the ER.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.

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