Northwest Human Services, which offers affordable, quality health care to community members, including the underserved, held an open house on August 17th. One of its messages was that the work of it, and other Community Health Centers across the country – may be cut by 70% if Congress does not take action in the next month.

Northwest’s service numbers are impressive; 11,565 local patients were served in 2016, including 2,043 area homeless individuals. 17% of its patients have no insurance. 50% of its patients have income at or below 100% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Though the group seldom seeks publicity, says Jan Margosian, vice-chair of the organization’s board, “we really want the residents of Salem to know we are here and we are different from all the others.”

Northwest Human Services is a non-profit, community health clinic serving the underserved, Margosian says, and “folks who can’t find doctors because they have Medicare and [others who have] health insurance but want a doctor and nurses who really care about providing health care to all.”

Northwest Human Services began locally in 1970 with the establishment of the Crisis & Information Hotline. Its QuickCare Clinic, located within the West Salem Clinic on Edgewater in West Salem, opened in 2012 to offer patients same day care for acute issues such as ear infections, sore throats, and colds.

One attendee to the open house was Representative Paul Evans of District 20. Evans admired the booths with doctors, nurses, dentists, staff and board members who discussed the benefits offered by Northwest Human Services and the possible devastating loss of funding.