Health Care and Well Being
It all started when a group of citizens in northern Wisconsin got together because they saw gaps in the healthcare resources in their community. They dug in and did the work to design a solution to address those needs. They submitted a grant application for federal funding, and they got it. Then they had to create a Board of Directors, become a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, hire staff, and find a building. And they did. It only took four months for the group to create a community health center, and they have done a lot since. In 2008, a building that had previously been a home, a brewery, a coffee shop and who knows what else became The Lakes Community Health Center in Iron River, Wisconsin. They also worked with the city of Ashland to open up a dental clinic, but that was only the beginning. In 2013, The Lakes had the opportunity to grow and help to serve more communities. They merged with North Woods Community Health Center. North Woods, which was created in 1976 by a similar community group, had clinic locations in Hayward and Minong. The new organization changed its name to NorthLakes Community Clinic. And in February of 2019, a third Community Health Center joined the NorthLakes family: Northern Health Centers, with sites in Lakewood, Oconto and White Lake, and which was founded in 1978. NorthLakes’ patient-majority board believes that there are many healthcare facilities in our service area that could benefit from joining an FQHC. Today, we operate 14 clinic sites in 12 communities across 20,000 square miles of northern Wisconsin.