Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Canton, OH - Mayor Richard D. Watkins

Canton Community Clinic

The Canton Community Clinic is located in the heart of the City's Southeast section. Thirty-two percent of its 17,000 residents live below the poverty level; minorities comprise 44 percent of the population. Until five years ago, the residents of this area had been geographically isolated from primary health care providers and generally lacked the ability to pay for medical services. There were only four primary care physicians in the area, and they were not located in close proximity to the residents of the Southeast section.

In response to the need for basic health services in this area, the Mayor called for the cooperation and support of all sectors of the Canton community. A local bank donated the building and the City provided CDBG funds to remodel it. Area doctors and hospitals donated all the furnishings, equipment and supplies.

The Clinic opened in September 1994 and since then has served more than 32,000 residents, one-third of them children. The dental wing opened in March 1996 to a waiting list of 400 persons, many of whom were to receive dental care and oral hygiene treatment for the first time in their lives. Sixty percent of those treated have no health insurance, 55 percent have no jobs, and more than half are minorities.

While the Clinic has three paid positions, it operates with volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and other workers. CDBG funds cover all of the Clinic's operational costs; this amounted to $285,000 during the first year and $170,000 in subsequent years. While services are free, the Clinic recovers approximately $4,000 annually from Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance programs providing coverage for patients.

Cash grants from local businesses, foundations and other sources are designated for specific services - health care for pre-school children, diabetes treatment and mammography, for example. These grants have made it possible for the Clinic to offer an increasing number of specific wellness programs to meet the need of area residents.

Two fund-raisers are held each year for the benefit of the Clinic, and the proceeds are invested by a local foundation in an endowment fund. When the fund's principal reaches $3 million, it will pay the Clinic $300,000 annually - enough to make it self-sufficient. At this point, the City will no longer provide funding.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (330) 489-3291

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