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ASHLAND -- The Ashland Health and Wellness Center opened last March, only a week before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the state of Ohio. 

On Tuesday, the staff at the 309 Arthur Street facility celebrated the one year anniversary of Third Street Family Health Services expansion into Ashland. 

Third Street Family Health Services, of Mansfield, began renovating the Arthur Street building in fall 2019. It opened the space in March 2020, and by fall 2020, Third Street Family Health Services expanded again in Ashland to offer dental services, too, at 9th Street Dental. 

"We had been looking at Ashland for an expansion for a long time. We know there's a shortage of healthcare providers in the area, and a need for people who don't have health insurance," president and CEO Peggy Anderson said. 

"We take all insurances, but we want to make sure folks who don't have insurance also have access to high quality care." 

In 2020, the Ashland Health and Wellness Center recorded 1,439 visits, according to Anderson. Considering the pandemic, she's especially proud of the team that has built up one of the city's newest primary care providers. 

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The Ashland Health and Wellness Center currently serves only those age 16 and up. In the future, Anderson anticipates expanding to serve those 16 and under, too. She's also interested in expanding women's care services.

A Telehealth unit will be installed to provide services that aren't at the Ashland facility. 

"Our goal is for folks to have regular care, and not need to go to the ER," Anderson said. 

By next month, the facility is aiming to start offering COVID-19 vaccines.

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