Portland health center, UNE expand care to Riverton neighborhood

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PORTLAND — A new health clinic is coming to the city’s Riverton neighborhood.

The Portland Community Health Center at Riverton will open Thursday at 59 Riverton Drive. Neighborhood residents previewed the health center at an open house held last week.

The clinic will specialize in serving low-income, immigrant and refugee individuals, who reside in many of Riverton Park’s 141 apartments, but often lack transportation to medical facilities in other parts of the city.

Low-cost primary care and preventive services will be available to residents, including those who are uninsured or covered by the state Medicaid program, MaineCare.

The new center is an outgrowth of a partnership between the University of New England and the Portland Community Health Center at 180 Park Ave. The partnership, CHANNELS, is designed to better prepare future health professionals to work with under-served populations in the city and beyond.

In Riverton, a PCHC nurse-practitioner will lead the clinic, along with other health professionals and assisted by UNE nursing students.

CHANNELS is an acronym for some of the program’s goals: community, health, access, navigate, network, education, leadership and services. The project is funded with a $1.27 million grant made in 2012 by the federal Health Services Research Administration to UNE.

The project is also supported by the city of Portland, the Portland Housing Authority, the state Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Somali Women of Maine and other organizations.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.

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At last week’s open house at a new health care clinic in Riverton, resident Fadumo Aseyr had her blood pressure checked by University of New England student nurse Abby Pierce.

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