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Help offered after OLBH closure: Assistance available for patients, employees

The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Agency is reaching out to help the patients and workers affected by the slow closure of the Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

“Unfortunately, our community has gone through many of these difficult times in the past, but by working together, we can hopefully rise to help those who have lost their jobs and medical providers with Bellefonte shut down,” said Ralph Kline, assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO.

The CAO has set up a single hot line that goes into their One Stop for patients looking for new medical homes, employees looking for new employment, and other individuals who might find themselves in need of assistance of various types.

“Rather than to overwhelm folks, we set up a single call in number at the One Stop, and we have case managers who can work with individuals in connecting them to various services that we at CAO and county have to offer,” Kline said.

The One Stop’s phone number is 740-532-3140.

Kline said that for patients needing a new medical home, the CAO Family Medical Center clinics across the county is ready to accept new patients for family practice, pediatric, dental, behavioral health or home medical. You can call 1-888-217-2202 to talk to a professional to determine needs, including same day appointments for care if needed.

“Our Family Medical Centers accepts most commercial insurance, Medicare and Medicaid from Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia,” Kline said. “In addition, if you are struggling to afford your medical care, our Family Medical Center staff will gladly work with you to see if you are eligible for our sliding fee discount program. We do not want any individual to go without needed health care for any reason, financial included.”

The CAO is also looking to help OLBH’s staff and has a number of career opportunities available as part of its 400-plus employee family. Positions offer many benefits including, but not limited to, medical insurance, paid leave and a generous employer matched retirement plan. To find out what positions are available now or to in the future, visit the Ironton Lawrence County Community Action Agency website at www.ilcao.org.

“In addition to job opportunities within Community Action, individuals searching for employment and/or retraining opportunities in the Tri-State Community, can visit the Lawrence County One Stop Center located at 120 N. Third St. in Ironton.

“Many employer positions are posted at the One Stop Center,” Kline said. “The Center also schedules job fairs for up and coming new employers. You can contact the One Stop Center for questions or to set up an appointment with a case manager by calling 740-532-3140.”

Kline said that if you are a Lawrence County resident and are struggling from the loss of a job, there may be other forms of assistance available to you in helping to pay your utilities, assistance to help keep from losing your home, as well as counseling and other services to you and your family.

“If you find yourself falling into financial problems, we encourage that you visit the Lawrence County One Stop early so that our excellent staff can assist you,” he said.