Staff from the 219 Health Network Inc. have had their hands full this year with a variety of community projects. They have teamed with Meals on Wheels to deliver bagged groceries to residents during the pandemic, and also took steps to offer rapid COVID-19 testing to their patients. Delivering quality, community-focused care is 219 Health Network’s main mission.
“We are here to uplift the lives of people across medically underserved communities in Northwest Indiana,” said 219 Health Network Medical Director and Family Medicine Practitioner Matthew Ramos Libiran, MD. “The health and well-being of our residents, our patients, is our top priority.”
What makes 219 Health Network unique is its dedication to provide comprehensive, trustworthy and affordable healthcare to anyone in need. A vast array of services are provided to residents whether they are insured, underinsured or uninsured by a team of healthcare providers in convenient clinics and office locations across East Chicago, Hammond, Highland and Whiting.
The 219 Health Network provides comprehensive services through their clinics or by arrangement with providers for preventive health services, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, mental health services and dental services.
From short-term illnesses like the flu to chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, 219 Health Network is equipped to help. The network, with a pulse on the community, is always looking at ways to expand its services to care for some of the most vulnerable patients. Last month, staff welcomed an endocrinologist to help care for diabetic patients.
“Diabetes is one of the top chronic conditions in all of Northwest Indiana,” notes 219 Health Network CEO Ibrahim Najamuddin. “Having a dedicated endocrinologist to address that need is going to be key, and we’re really excited to start offering that service.”
Founded three years ago, 219 Health Network takes its lead from a 10-member, multidisciplinary board of directors who hail from hospitals, health departments, universities, municipal government and not-for-profit agencies. Najamuddin was tapped to put the wheels in motion and assemble a physician network capable of offering high-quality care to a community with limited health clinic options.
Najamuddin understands the need that residents of East Chicago and its surrounding communities have for affordable healthcare outside the hospital setting.
“I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, and my mother and father both spent 30 plus years working at St. Catherine Hospital here in East Chicago,” Najamuddin said. “As a product of Northwest Indiana, and as someone with my own family now, I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that the people of this community have access to resources they need and deserve in life.”
As an FQHC, the 219 Health Network is able to provide care to anyone that comes through their doors, no matter their patient’s financial situation.
“We turn no one away, regardless of their ability to pay,” Najamuddin said. “Whatever your insurance status, if you come to any of our clinics we can provide you with the care you need while making sure it’s performed an affordable cost to you.”
Libiran shares Najamuddin’s passion for community-focused care.
“Most of our physicians have at least five-to 10 years of experience, and have been in this community for more than a decade,” Libiran says. That’s so important to us, because we want our physicians to truly understand our patients.”
Najamuddin wants 219 Health Network’s patients to feel comfortable knowing that their physicians will be there for them.
“It’s absolutely critical that our patients know our team understands their needs and the challenges of their community,” he said. “Longevity really helps to build a real connection and strong trust between them and our patient population.”
Another unique attribute of 219 Health Network is its environment of care. The clinics and offices are clean, modern and well-appointed, as an outward way to show the FQHC patients will be treated with dignity and respect.
“Having a health concern can be a scary time for anyone,” Najamuddin said. “When you come to a 219 Health Network clinic, you’ll enter an environment where you feel safe and comfortable. “We make sure our staff is well trained and excel in protecting our patients privacy and comfort while providing the best care possible.”
Working at a FQHC requires a physician to truly be mission driven. That’s the difference-maker.
“We’re not working for praise, we’re working for purpose,” Libiran said. “We’re here to serve in any shape or form that we can.”
If you are feeling ill, need to manage a chronic condition or simply need a routine check-up, call 833-219-0001. To learn more about 219 Health Network, Inc.’s services, clinic locations and providers, visit 219health.org.