Health center plans focus of reception

EVENT PLANNED — Trudy Wilson, executive director of the Ohio Valley Health Center, stands in the center of the former Neighborhood House Day Care Center at 423 South St., Steubenville, in a photo taken in April after the center announced its purchase of the building to be transformed into the health center’s new home. Plans for doing that will be announced at an “Eat, Drink and Be Social” reception that community leaders are being invited to attend there from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday. -- Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — What’s ahead for the Ohio Valley Health Center will be unveiled during a reception Thursday at the center’s new location at 423 South St.

Community leaders are being invited to attend “Eat, Drink and Be Sociable” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the former Neighborhood House Day Care Center, the site being transformed into the health center’s new home.

“This will be a social gathering for the Ohio Valley’s leaders to join together to celebrate the health center’s new location and hear about its three-year expansion project,” explained Trudy Wilson, the center’s executive director, referring to “Building Health and Hope: A Capital Expansion Project.”

Wilson said the event is open to all community leaders interested in learning about OVHC, its mission to serve the uninsured and underinsured of the Ohio Valley and its three-year plan to expand programs and services to help more people in the Ohio Valley.

In addition to hors d’oeuvres, socializing and tours through the pre-renovated facility, Wilson at 4:30 p.m. will provide details of the health center layout in the new facility and announce the expansion of some specific programs to benefit those struggling with health care issues in the Ohio Valley.

“These are exciting times for the Ohio Valley Health Center,” Wilson said. “We are anxious to begin renovation in the new building ASAP and to get moved back into downtown Steubenville. We are aware of the ongoing critical need for access to high-quality health care for those who are uninsured or underinsured (Medicaid/Managed Care programs),” she explained.

“We have a growing list of people who need an appointment with a physician or nurse practitioner to be seen for chronic issues that are untreated. Moving back into the downtown area and having more space to treat patients will enable us to make available more opportunities to provide care for hurting people,” Wilson said.

Those interested in attending the event to learn about “Building Health and Hope: A Capital Expansion Project” are asked to RSVP to Fran Carinci, board chair, at (740) 284-8008; Anthony Mougianis, board member, at (740) 264-6400; or Wilson at (740) 283-2856.

That the health center would be relocating into the former Neighborhood House Day Care Center was an announcement made at the center’s annual fundraiser gala held April 23 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville. For $15,000, the center purchased the 48,000-square-foot building from the Neighborhood House, which wanted another nonprofit to take ownership.

The capital campaign, originally announced as $250,000 for renovations, got a jumpstart with a $5,000 donation from Anthony Mougianis and Tara Dzvonick of Apollo Pro Cleaning and Restoration, co-chairs of the center’s annual fundraising gala.

Representatives of the center gathered at the center in the days following the gala for a formal check presentation and kickoff of the capital campaign.

“We are jumpstarting a capital campaign to raise $250,000 to renovate the inside of this building,” Wilson said.

The Neighborhood House, the longest operating daycare and preschool in Jefferson County, closed its doors March 1. The nonprofit organization and member agency of the United Way of Jefferson County became a licensed daycare facility during the 1960s. It originally was established more than 80 years ago, however, beginning as an aid to country newcomers in a church parsonage at 231 S. Fourth St., Steubenville. It helped immigrants coming to Steubenville get acclimated to their new surroundings and learn the English language.

The Neighborhood House wanted another nonprofit to take over the 48,000-square-foot building that has a paved parking lot. It was assessed at $98,000, appraised at $70,000 and sold for $15,000.

Officials had said they hoped the center would be operational by year’s end.

The center currently is located in the Ross Park Professional Building of Trinity Medical Center East, 380 Summit Ave., where it is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It has been there three years, having moved from its original location at 701 N. Fourth St. after the roof started leaking from a buildup of snow and ice.

“It’s our goal to get back downtown where the need is the greatest, so we’re anxiously looking forward to that,” Wilson has said in previous interviews.

(Kiaski can be contacted a