North Country Family Health Center, Inc.
Advancing Primary Care
January 2014 – April 2014
The North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) in Watertown has been serving Jefferson and Lewis counties since 1971.
NCFHC is virtually the only source of comprehensive primary care in this remote region of New York State, and it successfully became a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in 2012. Although NCFHC is a vitally needed provider, it had experienced financial instability for many years, specifically after becoming a FQHC. In October 2013, its problems reached crisis proportions, and it publicly announced that it would be suspending operations and closing its doors. In response, multiple stakeholders, including the New York State Department of Health, collaborated to preserve the clinic and to ensure there was no disruption of services to NCFHC’s patients, families, and residents. During this time, nearby Samaritan Medical Center became the temporary operator of NCFHC until the health center developed a long-term plan to become self-sustaining. NYSHealth awarded NCFHC a grant to support efforts in strengthening its financial condition and provide resources to address operations and revenue management issues.