In 1986, North Coast Health (NCH), formerly North Coast Health Ministry, was established as a faith-based free clinic. Founded by Russell Elmer, MD with the support of four Bay Village congregations, a grassroots effort to connect the uninsured to health care was launched in the spirit of Christian concern and a health care ministry began.
Guided for more than three decades by the values of faith, compassion, excellence, teamwork and stewardship, NCH transformed to meet the needs of the medically underserved. Loyal and dedicated volunteers, community partners and generous donors invested time, talent and financial gifts in support of a shared belief that access to health care is a right and not a privilege, one that should never be denied based on an individual’s ability to pay.
Working together, NCH transitioned from a one evening per week volunteer run clinic to a full-time primary care clinic operated by a team of staff and volunteers. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in 2014 led to a transition from a free clinic to a charitable clinic, making it possible for anyone in need – the uninsured, under-insured, and those with Medicaid and Medicare coverage – to access high quality and affordable care.
In 2018, in light of the rapidly changing health care landscape, anticipated shifts in funding and the ongoing need for services provided, NCH’s Board of Directors explored opportunities to link with an organization sharing a similar mission. After extensive strategic planning and due diligence, NCH and Neighborhood Family Practice (NFP) formed a strategic alliance, bringing together the leadership, boards and staff of both organizations to benefit patients and the community, both now and into the future.
On January 1, 2019, North Coast Health began a new year, and a new chapter, as Neighborhood Family Practice North Coast Community Health Center.