News

04.09.14


Variety Care Foundation executive director Andrew Rice and Reach Out and Read Oklahoma state medical director Dr. Marny Dunlap read to Dr. Dunlap’s niece, Caroline.  Reach Out and Read Oklahoma recently donated 2,100 books to be given to Variety Care patients.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Thanks to funding from Inasmuch Foundation, Reach Out and Read Oklahoma has donated more than 2,100 books for Variety Care medical providers to give to children.

Reach Out and Read is a national nonprofit organization of medical providers devoted to preparing young children to succeed in school by prescribing books and encouraging families to read together.  The Oklahoma branch of Reach Out and Read is supported by SmartStart Oklahoma.

“This is truly a partnership among many non-profit leaders in Oklahoma to make sure parents are reading to their children, stimulating their young minds and developing a healthy enjoyment of language, learning and books,” said Lori Lake, Reach Out and Read Oklahoma state director.

Variety Care has been a Reach Out and Read partner for 15 years but has been working with Lake since the fall of 2013 to more than triple the number of its health centers where the free books are provided to children.  In addition to locations across Oklahoma County, books are now provided at Variety Care health centers in Norman, Tipton, Grandfield, Fort Cobb and Thomas.

“Reach Out and Read is a wonderful program that helps pediatricians and parents emphasize the importance of literacy and language in the early brain development of young children,” said Dr. Kyle Stewart, Variety Care's director of pediatric medicine.  “The kids I see love the books they are given, and many times it helps children be comfortable coming to the doctor.”

This donation of more than 2,100 books to Variety Care pediatric patients happens to coincide with the Week of the Young Child, which the National Association for the Education of Young Children uses to promote the value of early childhood education programs and other initiatives like Reach Out and Read.

“We are grateful to be part of helping to improve outcomes for the children in Oklahoma — and nationwide,” said Reach Out and Read Acting Executive Director Brian Gallagher.  “The first five years of life offer a key window for learning, with rapid brain development that does not occur at any other time.  Every interaction a child has — from smiles and laughs, to bedtime stories — forms the foundation on which the rest of life sits.  By incorporating reading into daily routines, parents, with guidance and books from Reach Out and Read’s medical providers, are truly supported as their children’s first and most important teachers.”

The books provided by Reach Out and Read include classics such as Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny and The Hungry Caterpillar.  Books are available in both English and Spanish, and they come with a printed tip sheet that gives parents suggestions about how to read and discuss the books.  The books were chosen to be in line with early education metrics outlined in the work of early childhood expert Ellen Galinsky, author of “Mind in the Making:  The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs.”

About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Tipton, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas.  Variety Care saw more than 62,000 people in 2013, providing primary medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care with multiple services at some sites.  A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients.  The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.

About Reach Out and Read:  (www.reachoutandreadok.org)

Reach Out and Read is the evidence-based, national nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud at regular pediatric checkups. The model includes providing a new, age-appropriate book for each child to take home at checkups from 6 months through 5 years.  Nationwide, Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses serve 4 million children and their families annually at 5,000 hospitals, clinics, and health centers in all 50 states, with a focus on centers that serve low-income communities.

 

03.02.14

All Variety Care locations will be closed March 3. Please be safe and warm. 

12.05.13

Variety Care locations will be closed December 6. Please be safe on the roads. Please watch the closings list for any future updates. 

12.04.13

Site will add 15 new dental chairs, expanded access for community

 OKLAHOMA CITY — To help address Oklahoma's poor oral health rankings, Variety Care has broken ground on a 8,000-square-foot Dental Center of Excellence that will add 15 new dental chairs to its Straka Family Health Center in South Oklahoma City.

  The $4.3 million project will bring the total number of dental operatories at the Straka site to 21, making it one of the largest dental clinics in the state.

  “Oklahoma struggles with many health outcomes, but one of the most challenging is oral health,” said Lou Carmichael, Variety Care CEO.  “The most non-urgent diagnosis in hospital emergency rooms is tooth pain.  Dental care is central to primary care and keeping families healthy, but it is also tough for people to afford.  Our dental expansion at the Straka location will help keep people's mouths healthy.”

  Variety Care provides comprehensive primary care to Oklahoma families, including medical, dental, optometric and behavioral health care.  Most insurances are accepted, and uninsured patients pay cash for care along a sliding-fee scale based on income and family size.

  “Every time we build a standard three-chair dental clinic at one of our health centers, the schedule fills up within a week and a waiting list forms,” Carmichael said.  “Variety Care receives hundreds of calls each month for dental patients we cannot fit into our existing schedules.  This Dental Center of Excellence will let us hire additional dentists and hygienists, and it will feature extra dental chairs for emergency walk-in patients and student rotations for workforce development.”

  The project is largely financed through an investment of New Markets Tax Credits facilitated by Cherokee Nation Businesses.

  “Variety Care is creating jobs and making the kinds of critical investments that will help improve access to health care,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.  “There is no issue more important to me and to the Cherokee people than affordable health care.  I am proud a portion of our Cherokee Nation Businesses New Markets Tax Credits will be used to help an organization dedicated to that same mission.”

  Inasmuch Foundation, the United Way of Central Oklahoma and The Wilshire Foundation have also provided grant money to support initial operations of Variety Care's new dental center and keep costs affordable for patients.

  “With access to high-quality and affordable dental care extremely limited in our community, we are pleased to partner with Variety Care to build this new dental center in Oklahoma City,” said Bob Ross, President and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation.  “Prior to this grant, we have worked with Variety Care on several health improvement projects, and their board really knows how to stretch a dollar so can it serve the most people possible.  I am excited to see this new dental center and the impact it will have on so many lives for years to come.”

  In addition to dental care, the expansion will also pave the way for an urgent care area at the health center, as well as a gastroenterology practice.  Of the 21 dental chairs planned for Variety Care's Straka site, six will focus on pediatric dental care and the other 15 will focus primarily on adults.

  “There is a two-front battle in dental care,” Carmichael said.  “First, many adults have significant dental needs because they have neglected oral health care over the years.  But, second, we have to break this cycle by making sure children are developing healthy dental habits.  We need parents to understand just how important dental visits are for kids as early as 1 year of age.”

  Cherokee Nation Businesses has been supporting numerous projects across Oklahoma through new markets tax credits investment.

  “We are pleased to help spur economic development in Oklahoma and improve health infrastructure through our involvement with organizations like Variety Care,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses.  “Variety Care's health centers are truly making a difference in the lives of our fellow Oklahomans, and we're grateful to have a hand in getting this project off the ground.”

  About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

 Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Tipton, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas.  Variety Care saw more than 57,000 people in 2012, providing primary medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care with multiple services at some sites.  A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients.  The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.

 About Cherokee Nation Businesses (www.CherokeeNationBusinesses.com)

 Cherokee Nation Businesses is the tribally-owned holding company of the Cherokee Nation, the largest Indian Nation in the United States.  The Cherokee Nation and its businesses employ 9,000 people.  CNB owns companies in the gaming, hospitality, information technology, personnel services, distribution, manufacturing, telecommunications, environmental services and security and defense industries.

11.11.13

OKLAHOMA CITY — In its fifth decade providing health care to underserved populations in the heart of Oklahoma City, Good Shepherd Ministries of Oklahoma has been chosen by the Variety Care Foundation to receive the 2013 Bertha Levy Health Care Advocate award.

 “Good Shepherd Ministries has helped thousands of Oklahomans access health care that they otherwise could not afford,” said Andrew Rice, executive director of the Variety Care Foundation.  “For years, they were known to be one of the only options for charitable dental care in Oklahoma City.  The Variety Care Foundation looks to honor organizations and individuals with this award who share our values, and the quality and compassion of Good Shepherd's medical and dental services match our mission as well.”

 The award, which will be presented at the Variety Care Foundation “Diamond Donor” event on Thursday, Nov. 14, is named for Dr. Bertha Levy, a trailblazing female physician whose extensive career included decades of service at Variety Health Center, the precursor to Variety Care.

 “Mentioning the ministry of Good Shepherd Medical and Dental Clinics in the same breath with Dr. Bertha Levy’s work is an honor of and by itself,” said Dr. Fred Loper, Good Shepherd Medical Director.  “To also be chosen to receive the 2013 Bertha Levy Health Care Advocate Award is beyond anything we could have imagined.  We are striving hard each day to measure up to the standard set by Dr. Levy and other past recipients of the award.”

 The Good Shepherd building, 1201 N. Robinson Ave., is currently undergoing renovation and expansion to serve more patients.

 Dr. Levy died in 2007 at age 92, and the award was created that year.  Previous winners include The Sarkeys Foundation, philanthropist Cassie Bowen, former First Lady Kim Henry, Dr. Jay Johnston, an ophthalmologist, Dr. Robert Mannel, director of the OU Cancer Institute, and Mike Fogarty, former director of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

 Along with the award presentation, the Diamond Donor event will also recognize about 200 major donors to Variety Care, Oklahoma's largest community health center, which provides more than 57,000 people annually with medical, dental, vision and behavioral care, as well as WIC and other health and wellness services.

 Many of those donors were sponsors of the 2013 Variety Show, which raised more than $150,000 to help Variety Care make quality health care affordable and accessible to all Oklahomans.

 About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Tipton, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas.  Variety Care saw more than 57,000 people in 2012, providing primary medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care with multiple services at some sites.  A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients.  The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.

 

 

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11.07.13

NORMAN — Variety Care received a “New Access Point” grant Thursday from the Health Resources Services Administration to support a family health center and a pediatric health center in Norman, as well as the development of a third location on the Griffin Memorial Hospital campus.

 Variety Care, Oklahoma's largest community health center, received the $975,000 grant to support its mission of making quality health care affordable and accessible.  Children and adults can receive medical, dental, optometric and behavioral health services at Variety Care, regardless of their insurance status.

 The grant's funding will help support operations at Variety Care's Norman sites, as well as future improvements and expansions.

 “This will help us see thousands of more patients in the Norman area in the coming years,” said Variety Care CEO Lou Carmichael.  “The need for quality, affordable primary care is important to every family, and our plan is to keep building capacity in Cleveland County to serve many more Oklahomans.”

 Variety Care's main Norman location is temporarily located at 1124 N. Porter Ave. in preparation of renovations at 317 E. Himes St.  Variety Care is also expanding a pediatric practice in Norman, and will develop a primary care clinic on the Griffin Memorial Hospital campus to serve patients dealing with mental health issues.

 “Being awarded this grant will catapult the capacity and services that Variety Care can deliver here,” said Renee Porter, a Variety Care board member who represents Norman.  “Variety is one of only two community health centers in Oklahoma to receive a grant like this, and its impact will be felt locally.”

 About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Tipton, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas.  Variety Care saw more than 57,000 people in 2012, providing primary medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care with multiple services at some sites.  A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients.  The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.

 

 

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11.04.13


 OKLAHOMA CITY — A major supporter of Variety Care's efforts to make quality health care affordable and accessible will now have its name on a pediatric dental suite that will be shaping healthy smiles in South Oklahoma City for years to come.

 A series of substantial gifts to the Variety Care Foundation will be recognized during a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Variety Care's Inasmuch Foundation Wellness & Pediatric Center, 500 S.W. 44th St.

 “Frontier State Bank is an important community leader in South Oklahoma City,” said Andrew Rice, executive director of the Variety Care Foundation.  “Their commitment to helping Oklahomans stay healthy is inspiring, as are so many of the families who bring their children to receive important dental care at our clinics.”

 For several years, Frontier State Bank has been a lead sponsor of the annual Variety Show fundraiser which raises money to connect lower-income Oklahomans with the quality, comprehensive health services that Variety Care provides.

 “To support a non-profit that does so many different things for its patients and our community is an easy decision,” said Jerry Monroe, Executive Vice President of Frontier State Bank.  “We are proud to have built a strong relationship with Variety Care and to help working families in Oklahoma City access important health services, including dental care.”

 Rice said access to pediatric dental care prevents tooth decay later in life.  The dental clinic that will now bear the Frontier State Bank name sees children all across the spectrum of dental care:  those who are maintaining healthy teeth through cleanings and sealants, and those who have not had preventative care and now need major dental work to address decay.

 “We see many teenagers who are facing serious, expensive dental problems in middle or high school,” Rice said.  “Sometimes these kids are straight-A students in school, but their families cannot afford all the dental work they need, and the children are too embarrassed even to smile.  Poor oral health can affect your physical health, your confidence, and your overall well-being.  Donors like Frontier State Bank offer these kids a chance to have their needs addressed.”

 A Diamond Donor event on Thursday, Nov. 14, will also recognize about 200 major donors to Variety Care, Oklahoma's largest community health center, which provides more than 57,000 people annually with medical, dental, vision and behavioral care, as well as WIC and other health and wellness services.

 Many of those donors were sponsors of the 2013 Variety Show, which raised more than $150,000 to help Variety Care make quality health care affordable and accessible to all Oklahomans.

 About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Tipton, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas.  Variety Care saw more than 57,000 people in 2012, providing primary medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care with multiple services at some sites.  A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients.  The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.

 

 

10.07.13

Variety Care has opened their first pharmacy at 1025 Straka Terrace. Patients of Variety Care, and anyone in need of filling their prescription, now have convenient access to affordable medications. The Straka Pharmacy is open Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm, with a break for lunch at 12:30pm. Patients of Variety Care with a valid prescription from a Variety Care provider may be eligible for additional discounts on their medications. If you need to switch your pharmacy or have questions for the pharmacist, please call (405) 629-5281. Look for more Variety Care pharmacies opening at a Variety Care location near you. 

08.13.13

Read more from the Norman Transcript, about the recent merger in Norman with Health for Friends: http://normantranscript.com/letters/x1084951906/Kathy-Heiple-meets-Berth...

08.12.13

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma matching donations to Variety Care for National Health Center Week

OKLAHOMA CITY — In celebration of the 2013 National Health Center Week, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma will be matching up to $3,000 in donations made to Variety Care, Oklahoma's largest community health center that provides care to more than 56,000 people annually.

National Health Center Week is held every year across the country to promote the work done by Community Health Centers to provide primary care for more than 20 million Americans annually.

“The first step in improving the health of Oklahomans is ensuring that individuals have access to quality care,” said Ted Haynes, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “Variety Care opens the door to medical assistance for our citizens that are in need. We encourage others to support this important component of health care in our state, and that is why we are offering this matching donation.”

Donations to Variety Care will support their integrated treatment of diabetic patients, dental patients, pre-natal patients and those in need of counseling and mental health services.

“We receive large and small donations from across the Oklahoma City community because so many people understand that making quality health care affordable and accessible is important for all Oklahoma families,” said Andrew Rice, executive director of Variety Care Foundation, the fundraising and philanthropy arm of Variety Care. “This generous offer from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma helps make the donations of individuals go farther, and overall will help us fill in the health care gaps for the tens of thousands of low-income patients we see.”

National Health Center Week runs Sunday, Aug. 11, through Saturday, Aug. 17, and donations can be made to Variety Care at www.VarietyCare.org.

About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Tipton, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas. Variety Care saw more than 56,000 people in 2012, providing primary medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care with multiple services at some sites. A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients. The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.

 

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