Linda Codey is stepping down as chief executive officer at the Clark County Family Health Clinic, but that doesn’t mean she’s totally giving up a job she has loved for nearly two decades.

Codey, 61, started with the clinic in February 1992, when it began as a part-time clinic open two nights a week. It quickly went full-time following a grant to become a nurse-managed center, and now serves more than 11,000 patients annually.

To ensure that the health center continues to receive the grants, it will be relying on a familiar face.

“Now I’m doing project management and grant writing,” Codey said. “I’ve been repurposed.”

Codey said she is going back to what she loves to do and Lori Harris will be taking over as the new CEO for the Family Health Center.

“It’s very heart-warming to me. [I’ve] seen the community step in and help us grow,” Codey said of her time spend as CEO.

 The clinic, located in Jeffersonville, remains one of two family health centers in a six-county region; the other free health clinic is located in New Albany. Designed to be a community-based primary health care service center, the center operates to care for the medically underserved populations of Indiana.

A community health center is defined as consumer driven, and must provide primary health care services by state licensed professionals. The health centers must also be comprehensive in scope, coordinated within the community, accessible, affordable and available, according to guidelines established by the Indiana State Department of Health. The health center also must provide services for specialty care and mental health care on-site or by a formalized written community referral arrangement, according to state guidelines.

In Clark County, the mental health services programs were contracted to Jeffersonville-based LifeSpring.

LifeSpring CEO Terry Stawar has worked with Codey since he came to the nonprofit mental health organization in 1999.

“Her clinic has been a lifesaver for us,” Stawar said. “She’s the kind of person that you can really count on [and] she’s one of the people that has really improved the quality of life for people [in Jeffersonville].”

Stawar’s clinic has worked together with Codey as patients often needed care at both centers. But to pay for the underserved patients’ care, the clinic has been on a constant search for funding.

Money to help support the center comes from grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration.

Active grants include two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants for a Capital Improvement Program, totaling $339,215, and funding for an Increased Demand for Services totaling, $161,552, according to the HRSA Web site. A third grant is a Health Center Cluster grant valued at $628,003.

Despite the funding and growth that the health center has experienced since its inception, it still has trouble keeping up with the demand for services.

The health center is appointment-based because the demand is extremely high. If possible, the clinic will accepts walk-in patients, but its not common, Codey said. Nearly 95 percent of the people that come into the clinic are uninsured, while the remainder of the patients on Medicaid and/or Medicare.

When asked what strides have been made at the clinic while under her direction, Codey maintained her modesty.

“Providing care is a community effort,” she said. “All I’ve done is guided the ship.”

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So you know

• For new patients to the Clark County Family Health Center, weekly orientations are held every Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. It is located at 1319 Duncan Ave., in Jeffersonville. For more information, call 812-283-2308.

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