RHCHC Historical Timeline
A dedicated group of Springfield residents embarked upon a project focusing on the health care needs for at-risk, underserved, and uninsured children, called the Rally for the Poor. Through their vision and dedication, ground was broken in 1998 for a pediatric facility to serve the neediest children in Springfield. Simultaneously, Wittenberg University’s Urban Studies program completed a geographical information systems (GIS) study of poverty concentrations in Springfield. Once mapped, the largest concentrations of poverty were in census tracts that, when viewed together as a whole, resembled a rocking horse. The belly of the horse was the block selected to be the site of the new pediatric medical facility. Selecting “Rocking Horse Center” as the name of the facility was obvious and the Center quickly garnered support, respect and admiration from the community.
Opening in May 1999, Rocking Horse Center, a not-for-profit, 501c3, began with a goal to provide comprehensive healthcare to approximately 1,700 children, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
In 2005, a Community-led Steering Committee recommended that Rocking Horse Center should be the lead organization to bring a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to Springfield. In May 2007, the Center submitted a full status application as a potential “new access points in a high poverty county”. This initial application was not funded. However, in December of 2007, Rocking Horse Center submitted a second application.
In March 2008, Rocking Horse Center acquired the Community Hospital Health Care Clinic from Community Mercy Health Partners and begin serving adults in preparation of becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center. The addition of adult primary care rounded out the services offered, making Rocking Horse Center eligible to apply to for designation as a look-alike FQHC.
In February 2009, Rocking Horse Center was award full-status Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status and became Rocking Horse Community Health Center (RHCHC). This recognition stems, in part, from the Affordable Care Act, which provided funding for 126 Health Center New Access Points (NAPs). This additional Federal funding, along with financial support from community partners, has enabled RHCHC to better fulfill its mission of providing comprehensive healthcare to the underserved in the community, regardless of their ability to pay.
In 2010, RHCHC took over services for Parent Infant Center (PIC), and the medical office at the Springfield City Schools – School of Innovation (SOI) located on Selma Road. PIC, provides material assistance including diapers and formula, as well as childbirth and parenting classes, to anyone in the community at no charge. All PIC Services are located in the RHCHC Springfield Office. The medical office at the School of Innovation is in place to provide point of service healthcare for students and their families.
In 2013, with a $6M federal grant, RHCHC was able to expand its capacity by tripling the original physical space with an addition of more than 42,000 square feet. This space included areas for clinical expansion, dental services, chiropractic, expanded behavioral health and psychiatric services, substance abuse, obstetrical, and administrative staff. The cost of the expansion was eight million dollars, with $1,500,000 coming through a New Market Tax Credit Project.
In December of 2013, RHCHC entered into an agreement with Mulberry Terrace Limited Partners, Inc., to provide medical and behavioral health services to tenants who reside in the housing project. Mulberry Terrace is an affordable, permanent supportive housing project located at 120 West Mulberry Street in Springfield. RHCHC paid for $250,000 in renovations to prepare for a medical operatory containing exam rooms, medical offices, a lab, and check-in area.
In 2015, RHCHC was awarded an additional New Access Point Grant for Madison County. We collaborated with Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic, which is located on the campus of Madison County Hospital in London, Ohio. The Free Clinic served the neediest people in Madison County who had no health insurance. However, they were only able to support operations for three hours per week. RHCHC now operates the facility on a full-time basis, with plans to expand.
Being a Federally Qualified Health Center has allowed RHCHC to expand services and sites, providing more comprehensive primary care to more patients. In 2017, Rocking Horse Center opened Chakeres Dental Care providing comprehensive dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Additionally, Chiropractic Solutions opened providing an alternative solution to pain.
2018 to Present Day
In 2018, RHCHC served over 13,500 patients and provided over 63,600 patient visits. The Center employs over 160 individuals across four locations. Rocking Horse Community Health Center creates a caring environment where quality services empower adults and children to improve their physical and emotional health. To this date, when the name “Rocking Horse” is mentioned in the community, it conveys a sense of warmth and pride.