News

07.03.15

In observance of Independence Day, all Variety Care locations will be closed on Friday,July 3rd-Saturday,July 4th. Our Urgent Care clinic will be closed on Saturday, July 4th. Have a safe and fun-filled holiday! We will open on Monday, July 6th during normal business hours.

05.04.15

OKLAHOMA CITY — A Variety Care health center will be embedded in OSU-OKC’s new Allied Health Building to increase student, faculty and community access to health care and provide the university’s nursing students with cutting-edge training in primary care.

A ceremony will commemorate ground being broken for the new building at 3 pm, Thursday, May 7, on the northwest corner of the campus, 400 N. Portland Ave.

"We are delighted to welcome Variety Care onto our campus for this exciting partnership," said OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley. "Our university, like most, has students, faculty and staff who inevitably need primary care during the year. In addition, our neighbors need access to care as well. Variety Care is a great partner for us because they will be able to offer primary care, dental and behavioral health services. They also accept many different insurances and offer uninsured patients affordable cash options based on their income."

Shirley said OSU-OKC allied health students will have opportunities to work in the Variety Care clinic, providing them with valuable experience in the real world of medicine.

“This makes sense for so many reasons,” said Lou Carmichael, Variety Care CEO. “OSU-OKC is a great community resource, and the campus lies directly in our service area.  The new Allied Health Building is also exciting for the health care industry because everyone in health care is needing more and better-trained professionals at all levels.”

Variety Care is recognized nationally as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, an important designation that indicates multiple primary care services and resources are wrapped around patients to generate better health outcomes.

“It would be nearly impossible to simulate a Patient-Centered Medical Home for educational purposes, so this is an exciting training opportunity for young nurses and other health professionals to work in a PCMH-style clinical setting and help community members gain access to primary care at the same time,” Carmichael said

The new two-story building will also house OSU-OKC’s Allied Health programs, including nursing, cardiovascular technology, dietetics technology and health care administration.  Existing student enrollment plus faculty and staff numbers total about 1,800 people per semester, so the new building will represent an expansion of space and program capacity for the university.

"This alliance will enable OSU-OKC to align health profession education with the health care needs of the community," said Danyel Germain, OSU-OKC Health Sciences division head. "Additionally, the new simulation center will allow for inter-professional, experiential learning as health science students and health care professionals simulate real-life patient scenarios side-by-side."

Carmichael said people of all ages need access to quality primary care, and that means having the workforce to offer those services. She credited the university with showing vision and innovation in this novel approach to make both happen at OSU-OKC.

“With this project, Variety Care will now have embedded clinics in an Oklahoma City elementary school, an Oklahoma City high school and a local university campus,” she said. “We believe firmly that health care is best provided to the public when it can be accessed comfortably and conveniently by patients.”

Completion of the 45,000-square-foot building is anticipated in time for the Fall 2016 semester.

About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas.  Variety Care saw more than 78,000 people in 2014, 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 OSU-OKC:  (www.OSUOKC.edu)

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) is part of the modern land-grant system of the Oklahoma State University (OSU) System that prepares students for success. Through leadership and service, OSU-OKC is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all. As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. OSU has more than 37,000 students across its five-campus system, with more than 7,500 students from 38 states and 78 countries at OSU-OKC. Established in 1961, OSU-OKC has graduated thousands of students who have made a lasting impact on Oklahoma and the world. OSU is America’s Brightest Orange. 

 

 

02.25.15

Project also features new urgent care access in south Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY — Thousands of Oklahomans will have better access to oral health care thanks to the new Dental Center of Excellence at Variety Care’s Straka Family Health Center in south Oklahoma City.

Community members and oral health advocates will celebrate the center’s grand opening at 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, at 1025 Straka Terrace. The expanded section of the health center also features a new urgent care wing, which health care leaders expect will help divert patients away from costly and time-consuming emergency room visits at city hospitals.

"Oklahoma struggles with many health outcomes, but one of the most challenging is oral health," said Variety Care CEO Lou Carmichael. "One of the highest non-urgent uses of hospital emergency rooms for adults 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."

New markets tax credits financed the urgent care area’s construction and the dental center’s expansion, more than tripling oral health care capacity at the Straka Family Health Center, which also provides medical, optometric, pharmacy and behavioral health services to Oklahomans of all walks of life.

The expanded dental center began seeing patients in January and now features 21 operatories, making it one of the three largest dental facilities in the state. In 2014, Variety Care saw 10,153 patients for dental care, a number which will rise dramatically thanks to the project.

"The importance of good oral health care cannot be understated. For years, we have received hundreds of more calls for dental appointments than we could see each month. The demand and need for quality, affordable dental care is enormous, and this expansion will help a lot of Oklahoma families establish a dental home," said Dr. Craig Herwig, Variety Care’s dental director.

The $4.3 million project broke ground in December 2013, and Variety Care has hired three new dentists and two new hygienists to staff the dental center, which is designed to accommodate more walk-in dental emergencies, such as abscessed teeth.

"This impressive expansion of services to the greater metro area would not have been made possible without the generous support of local foundations like the Inasmuch Foundation, Sarkeys Foundation and the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation. The need for these services in south Oklahoma City was tremendous and not being adequately met, but now Variety Care is much more capable of alleviating this problem for many families," said Andrew Rice, Variety Care Foundation’s executive director.

Not only is Variety Care increasing access to dental services, access to immediate care services are now available thanks to the newly constructed new urgent care center also located at Variety Care’s Straka Family Health Center.

Dr. Steve Ramirez, Variety Care’s chief medical officer said, "As a Patient Centered Medical Home, we are directly utilizing our urgent care to facilitate after hours care to our patient population so they can have an alternative option instead of going to the emergency room. We are adding the ability of increased clinical services and the new urgent care allows us to do certain procedures that we have not been able to do given the facility dynamics of not having a procedure room, orthopedic room, etc. We see emergency room utilization as being one of the key things we want to address by offering increased access points."

The urgent care began seeing patients in January and has already treated numerous people seeking immediate medical attention during and after business hours.

For appointments, anyone can call 405-632-6688.

About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, 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

 

11.17.14

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Variety Care Foundation awarded the 2014 Bertha Levy Health Care Advocate award to its former director Mike Dover at its annual Diamond Donor dinner Friday.

Dover served as the executive director of Variety Health from 1982 to 2009, becoming the director of the Variety Care Foundation following a successful 2009 merger that created Variety Care.  He is a social worker by trade, having taught at the OU School of Social Work.

“Mike Dover is one of the most deserving recipients ever to receive this award in memory of Dr. Levy,” said Andrew Rice, current Variety Care Foundation executive director.  “Mike made an enormous imprint on the early childhood health and wellness for thousands of low-income children in Oklahoma City for more than two decades.  This impact not only enabled these children to have successful and healthy lives, but it saved our state's health and social services systems millions of dollars.”

The Bertha Levy Health Care Advocate Award recognizes community leaders who have advocated for better health care access in the community.  In addition to operating a key safety-net health care provider for decades, Dover was instrumental in making important changes to Oklahoma's Medicaid program.  In retirement, he still serves the community as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children and as the chairman of the MAPS Senior Wellness and Parks Committees.

“Mike Dover has added his energy to every project he has been involved in,” said Lou Carmichael, Variety Care CEO.  “From helping form the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, to his years of commitment to United Way partner agencies, to his continued community service, Mike Dover has left the city better for his being here.”

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, Mike Fogarty, former director of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and Good Shepherd Ministries.

“It's humbling just to be mentioned in the same breath with Dr. Levy,” said Dover, who was originally hired by a search committee steered by Dr. Levy.  “She was such a special lady.  Dr. Levy had a way of showing her values and explaining what type of people she wanted at Variety.”

Along with the award presentation, the Diamond Donor event recognized 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.  The event was held at the home of Leigh Ann and Paul Albers.

Many of those donors were sponsors of the 2014 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, 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.

 

08.11.14

OKLAHOMA CITY / NORMAN — Variety Care is joining Community Health Centers around the country in celebrating the work of providing quality primary health care services to families in our communities. 

“Community Health Centers serve 22 million patients nationwide,” said Lou Carmichael, CEO of Variety Care.  “Last year, Variety Care health centers served over 63,000 people and our growth will enable us to serve 100,000 by 2020. I invite you to join us at one of our National Health Center Week events to celebrate the dedicated staff who bring health and wellness access to their communities.” 

To start the celebration, Variety Care will be at the Norman Farmers Market with healthy in-season produce information and free reusable grocery sacks on Saturday, Aug. 9 and Tuesday, Aug. 12. 

On Wednesday, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the celebration will continue with a healthy breakfast for families at our Norman Family Practice location, 317 E. Himes St.  Variety Care has partnered with Food for Thought Institute, a non-profit organization based in Norman to help prepare the breakfast.

Variety Care will also celebrate on Saturday, Aug. 16 at two pediatric clinics:  the Mid-Del Health Center, 3851 Tinker Diagonal, from 10 a.m. to noon, and the Inasmuch Foundation Wellness and Pediatric Center, 500 SW 44th St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  The day will be filled with activities for the entire family to enjoy, including arts and crafts, height and weight screenings, a resource fair for families, Zumba, face painting, a soccer clinic with Soccer City, and even a bicycle giveaway for boys and girls.

For a pediatric medical appointment, or any other health care needs, please call 632-6688 to make an appointment at any of our 16 Variety Care locations. 

About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, 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.

 

 

07.22.14

OKLAHOMA CITY — Thanks to a donation of $50,000 from Continental Resources, about 330 uninsured patients who manage their diabetes at Variety Care will have better access to retinopathy eye exams.

About one-third of all Variety Care patients are uninsured and pay cash for care based on a sliding-fee scale related to income and family size.  Among Variety Care's adult patient population, the percentage of uninsured patients is even higher.

“People living with diabetes need an annual retinopathy eye exam because the disease can cause dramatic vision changes very quickly, which can be addressed if caught early,” said Variety Care CEO Lou Carmichael.  “Unfortunately, the cost of an eye exam on top of regular doctor's visits and insulin prescriptions can be prohibitive for our uninsured patients who pay cash for their care.

“This generous donation from Continental Resources will help make these important eye exams more accessible for the large number of uninsured diabetic patients who call Variety Care their medical home.”

Variety Care serves about 2,800 diabetic patients each year, with the goal of lowering patients' hemoglobin A1C levels to below 7 percent, a clinical marker for diabetic management.

“This is just one example of how we provide what is called a Patient-Centered Medical Home, with wraparound services like optometry, clinical pharmacy and nutrition counseling available to address a diabetic patient's needs,” Carmichael said.  “By offering comprehensive primary care to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, patients become healthier and stay out of Emergency Rooms, which can be costly for them, for the health care system, and for taxpayers.”

Kristin Miskovsky, vice president of public relations with Continental Resources, said the energy company was greatly impressed with how Variety Care improves the lives of so many patients who have diabetes. 

“At Continental Resources, we believe health and wellness are key to a thriving community,” Miskovsky said.  “By partnering with Variety Care to implement the retinopathy eye exam, we are working together to make preventative measures for diabetes more accessible to Oklahomans, particularly those in need.

“Along with our CEO Harold Hamm, Continental's goal is not only to help prevent, but also eradicate this devastating disease across our state, nation and the world.  The partnership with Variety Care will help us achieve our mission to secure Oklahoma's role as the global leader in diabetes prevention, research, treatment and education.”

Carmichael praised Continental Resources' community support.

“After analyzing our clinical data, we realized that we needed to find a way to make the retinopathy eye exams more accessible to our diabetic patients,” Carmichael said.  “Continental Resources has stepped up with a significant financial investment to make that happen and make quality health care affordable and accessible for these patients.”

About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)

Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, 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.

 

04.28.14

There are still Oklahomans struggling to recover almost a year after the May/June 2013

disasters. The Central Oklahoma Long-Term Recovery Coalition is partnering with

World Renew to conduct an assessment of long-term recovery needs resulting from the

2013 storms. This is another step in working with disaster affected individuals and

families to assess whether they have applied for all available services and their longterm

needs have been identified.

The assessment focuses on those who are unaware of available support, how to access

support, or that they qualify. For example, those with insurance often need additional

assistance, renters qualify, those who did not register with FEMA qualify, and

assistance does not depend on residence/citizenship status.

From April 28th to May 9th, the World Renew team will provide door-to-door surveys and

walk-in centers at the following locations:

• Oklahoma City: Variety Care Lafayette, 500 SW 44th St; April 28-May 2, 10:00-7:00

• McLoud: Emmanuel Baptist, 16901 S Fishmarket Rd; April 28-May 2, 10:00-7:00

• Carney: Community Event, Main Street, May 3, 10:00-2:00 pm

• El Reno: First Christian Church; 400 E Barker Ave, May 5-6, May 8, 10:00-7:00; May

9, 9:00-12:00

• Moore: Serve Moore, 200 S. Howard, May 5-May 8,10:00-7:00; May 9, 10:00-1:00

Walk-in centers are not area specific. For instance, a family impacted in El Reno is

welcome to visit ANY walk-in center. World Renew teams wearing ID badges and dark

green shirts with the World Renew logo will also provide door-to-door surveys.

For more information or to schedule a home visit, call 2-1-1 and ask about the “disaster

recovery assessment.”

The Central Oklahoma Long-Term Recovery Coalition is a collaboration of community-based

organizations and Long-Term Recovery Committees (LTRCs) across the areas impacted by the

May/June 2013 storms. The goal of the collaborating entities is to help disaster survivors who,

after insurance or government benefits, still need help recovering.

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.