Big budget cuts have hit public health centers, but that didn’t stop one in Tulsa from celebrating its grand opening anyway.
Friday, the newest Morton Comprehensive Health Clinic opened its newest location in west Tulsa, something Sandy Park resident Susan Robinson is looking forward to.
"We have so many people that do not have transportation here at Sandy Park, and they are going and getting a chance to get taken care of by a doctor," Robinson said.
Friday, CEO Susan Savage and local lawmakers cut the ribbon and officially dedicated the new facility.
"We provide dental, we provide optometry, we provide behavioral health; and so through these partnerships with the federal government and with HRSA, and with the housing authority at the local level, we have been able to serve the people in this area," Savage said.
While the event was exciting, there are concerns for health care facilities across the state, including this one.
Currently, facilities in low-income and rural areas face funding issues due to budget cuts and the legislature's failure to pass a recent cigarette tax that would help make up for the cuts.
Savage said, “50 percent of the people who come into Morton have no health insurance, about 40 percent of our patients are Medicaid patients, so we are going to have to make up the difference."
For now, private donors, federal grants and local partnerships have kept Morton running in spite of the cuts.
Savage said she's confident the state will continue to work with health care providers and clinics.
"An investment in health care is really about an investment in people," she said.
The new clinic even provides public transportation for people to get to and from the clinic and to a local pharmacy.
"I mean it's door to door service, how lucky is that," Robinson said.