Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers Breaks Ground on Norwalk Health Center

Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers Breaks Ground on Norwalk Health Center

Norwalk Health Center Renovations will Expand Healthcare Access in the Community

Bringing healthcare access to rural and underserved communities is the foundation of Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers’ mission. Since opening its doors in 1994, Scenic Bluffs has brought high-quality, affordable healthcare to the western Wisconsin region, while striving to reduce health disparities and address social barriers to care. After 28 years of providing care in the community, Scenic Bluffs will further its mission of delivering accessible, patient-centered primary care, by breaking ground on a renovation to the Norwalk Health Center.

Scenic Bluffs opened the Norwalk Health Center in 1999 to help meet the needs of the local area. What was once the location of the Norwalk school and bus garage became Scenic Bluffs’ second Health Center location, a center for providing comprehensive primary healthcare services in the Norwalk community. Now 23 years later, Scenic Bluffs looks forward to reinvesting in this critical service location. “This renovation is about so much more than providing updated facilities to our patients. It is also about a major reinvestment in the community of Norwalk,” said Kim Hawthorne, CEO of Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers.  “By growing our presence in Norwalk, we hope to bring new people into this community to experience its charm and all it has to offer. By increasing the number of people in the community, other businesses also have an opportunity to grow.” 

Renovation to the Norwalk Health Center, an 8,100 square foot facility, will not only focus on updating the looks of the Health Center, but also restructuring the layout to improve patient flow and increase space for clinical and administrative services. The Health Center will house primary medical care, chiropractic, behavioral health and patient support services, such as health educators, interpreters and Scenic Bluffs’ Help Team. Health Center hours and services will be expanded as the demand for services continues to grow. In addition to clinical and patient support services, the Norwalk Health Center will also receive renovations to the kitchen area attached to the community space.

As a Community Health Center, also known as a Federally Qualified Health Center, Scenic Bluffs helps increase access to crucial primary care by reducing barriers such as cost, lack of insurance, distance and language for patients. “We know that it isn’t just barriers such as cost or insurance that affect the ability for people to receive the care they need,” said Hawthorne. “We also need to have services in the geographical locations where our patients live and work that offer accessible service hours to receive care. By reinvesting in our Norwalk Health Center, we can continue to be a hub for primary care and community health resources in the area, with room to grow to fit our communities’ needs.”

Renovation to the Norwalk Health Center was made possible by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to support Health Center infrastructure and reduce healthcare disparities in underserved areas.  Construction will be completed by La Crosse-based general contractor/construction manager, Market and Johnson, Inc., and local area subcontractors. It is slated to be completed by January 2023.

Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers is a non-profit, community-based healthcare provider, providing primary care and healthcare access services for patients in the region. Community Health Centers — also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)- provide care to individuals regardless of insurance status or income, offer sliding-fee scale programs to reduce healthcare costs and barriers and are overseen by a board of directors that must consist of 60% consumers. To learn more about Community Health Centers, visit www.nachc.org.

Scenic Bluffs has Health Centers in both Cashton and Norwalk, with additional service locations in La Crosse, Viroqua and several area school districts. Scenic Bluffs accepts Wisconsin Medicaid, Medicare, most private insurance and cares for those without insurance. Additionally, Scenic Bluffs offers a sliding-fee scale program, available to those with or without insurance, which may reduce the cost of care to those who qualify. Qualifications are based-on the individual’s household size and income.

For more information on services provided by Scenic Bluffs, visit scenicbluffs.org or call 608-654-5100.

The project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $583,622 with 31% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

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