- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A Juneau medical clinic for homeless patients that was slated for closure last year has gotten a fresh start and hopes to expand its client base with the help of community contributions and grants.

The former Front Street Clinic, run by the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, is now the independently operated Front Street Community Health Center.

Health care services for the city’s homeless population did not lapse during the transition, the Juneau Empire reported (http://bit.ly/1iBCa4R ). The focus remains on providing care to medically underserved groups, with the clinic offering mental, medical and dental health treatment to homeless patients. The center aims to expand its services, offering care to all community members by mid-July.

“We’d really like to welcome the community,” nurse practitioner Janna Brewster said. “We’ve been fortunate to work with the homeless all these years - it’s been 10 years now - and it’s been a wonderful experience and it will continue to be an important part.”

The center received more than $100,000 in community contributions after the consortium last year announced plans to close the clinic’s doors. State and federal grants were also secured.

The estimated annual operational budget for the center is $500,000.

Brewster said accepting community members would supplement the grants and donations. Residents will be seen on a fee-for-service basis as well as those on Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“The grants don’t cover everything so we have to have a revenue flow,” Brewster said.

She expects the center will continue to be dependent upon grants for at least a few more years.

The clinic’s staff is expected to grow as its number of patients grows.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com