The center with clinics in Superior and Duluth treats around 10,000 patients annually. Dr. Emily Anderson, Medical Director, calls it one of the best kept secrets in the Twin Ports.
Dr. Emily Anderson, Medical Director of the Lake Superior Community Health Center. (Courtesy photo of the Lake Superior Community Health Center)
Kim Kervina didn’t find LSCHC until her life went from abundance to nothing. She lost her income and home with two teenagers to care for.
“We really had problems and I went there and they just hugged me,” said Kervina.
She is now insured but continues to go to the LSCHC.
“It’s just a great place for everyone, and I didn’t even know about it until I lost it all,” said Kervina von Duluth. “You got me through some really tough times.”
She has been a member of the center’s board of directors for the past three years, helping to raise awareness of this hidden resource. LSCHC is part of a national network of state-qualified health centers that provide care in underserved areas.
“We’re not a free clinic – patients are billed but never turned away for insolvency,” said Lee Homan of the centre’s marketing and business development department. “When a patient needs to work out a payment plan, we are incredibly flexible – sometimes we only ask a dollar a month if it’s all they can afford.”
Another misconception is that LSCHC is only for people without insurance. That’s not the case.
“People with insurance feel like when they get into the practice they’ll take the place of someone who needs them, but in fact, it’s just the opposite,” Homan said. “When they bring their insurance into our practices, it actually creates additional jobs and we can expand access to those who need them most.”
The center tries to fill gaps in healthcare. In 2018, the services for the treatment of behavioral disorders and substance abuse expanded: the chiropractic office of Dr. Kara McGillivray joined the team in June. Although the chiropractic office is in Duluth, this has not been a hindrance to superior patients. They have provided taxi coupons for patients to take to the Duluth office, Anderson said.
LSCHC focuses on a team approach to health care for all ages, where the many areas are integrated into a holistic approach. The chiropractic bureau has a new option in their tool box, one that Anderson said was popular.
The chiropractor Dr. Kara McGillivray joined the Lake Superior Community Health Center team in June. (Courtesy photo of the Lake Superior Community Health Center)
“Inclusive health care is truly aligned with the mission of chiropractic, which is comprehensive treatment of the whole person, preventing health problems from occurring, and building a foundation for general health,” said McGillivray. “LSCHC is dedicated to caring for all those in need, regardless of insurance or solvency. I had the opportunity to shadow some of Lake Superior’s great vendors and support team members, and I experienced so much compassion and kindness towards each patient.”
Anderson said there is an increased need for behavioral health care, as well as an ongoing need for access to medical care during the pandemic and an ongoing need for dental care. LSCHS opened a new dental clinic in Carlton in August, providing closer access for patients outside of the Twin Ports area.
“We’re always trying to improve what we do – improve access, improve integration, and remove barriers,” said Anderson.
Telemedicine visits are also possible on request. Call 715-392-1955 in Superior, 218-722-1497 in Duluth or visit lschc.org/ for more information.