COLUMBIA CITY — For more than 61 years, the Bowen Center has focused on the mental well being of the individuals in the communities they serve. The organization is now looking to expand its offerings to focus on the well being of the entire person, along with its mental health and addiction recovery services.
It’s a mission coming to fruition through the new Bowen Center Health Clinic. Construction on the building broke ground Monday, Nov. 14 in Columbia City. This facility will be located near the corner of Ind. 205 and U.S. 30, just across from Parkview Hospital.
This new space will offer room to grow with plans to add more therapists and healthcare providers in order to address not just mental health needs, but physical health as well.
“Our vision is to improve access to income-based care, where patients come to one location where they can see their primary care physician, their therapist, and eventually other specialties like a dentist, optometrist, and more. That multidisciplinary team will work together to improve and extend the lives of our patients,” said Dr. Rob Ryan, president and CEO of Bowen Center.
Currently, Bowen Center is located in downtown Columbia City, but leaders acknowledged parking options are limited, along with the ability to expand. The need for a new space, and the planning for it, began four years ago. Part of that planning, as noted by Whitley County Bowen Center Director Mista Lauber, meant reaching out to organizations such as Community Corrections, Parkview, the Whitley County Health Department and others to gather data and determine what services were needed in Whitley County. What they discovered, she said, was a need for easier and more access to mental health and physical health assistance.
“This building allows us to blend those needs,” Lauber said. “We’re elated to see physical and mental health services coming together. We hope to overall improve the health of Whitley County.” She thanked the community leaders, local enforcement and community corrections for their partnership, and Dr. Ryan added Bowen Center will continue to partner with local organizations in order to offer their services to those in need.
The hope is that later on the facility will be able to add dentistry, optometry and pharmacy care to its offerings.
“(It will be the) place for patients to be taken care of, and it will remove the barriers of transportation and access to quality care (they may have),” he said.
It’s an exciting development for the county and city, as celebrated by Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel.
“This whole corridor is really the welcome mat for people who come to Columbia City,” said Mayor Ryan Daniel. “And the fact that Bowen Center will be one of those buildings, those first campuses that individuals will see coming into Columbia City, I think is a really great part because it shows what an interest and an emphasis we have in healthcare and the wellness of our people here in Columbia City and certainly in Whitley County at large.”
The mayor thanked Bowen Center for “investing in our community for our generation and the generations to come.”
Work has already begun to level the site, and construction is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2023.
Those seeking assistance from the Bowen Center can reach out by calling 1-800-342-5653 or by visiting bowencenter.org.
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