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Horizon Health Care Announces Move to New Location in Yankton, Plans Care Options During Transition

Horizon Health Care Yankton Clinic Location Rendering

Horizon Health Care’s Yankton Community Health Center and Dental Services is excited to expand as we move into a new, larger location at 920 Broadway Ave. (the former Slumberland location) to better serve the growing community of Yankton.

Medical care will be available in our new location in August, followed by dental services in September. The last day we will provide care in our current location is Tuesday, June 23rd.

Beginning Monday, June 29th, patients can access care from our Yankton healthcare team at one of our neighboring clinics in Elk Point (medical) or Alcester (dental).

“We realize this is not ideal for our current patients,” says Mary Honomichl, Regional Officer Manager, “But it’s important that our patients know that services are still available in our neighboring clinics and that we will be back and ready to see them in Yankton soon.”

Horizon has several supportive services available to ensure patients continue to receive care during the transition.

  • Yankton Transit will take patients to appointments in Elk Point and Alcester at no charge.
  • Gas cards are available to cover the expense of travel if needed.
  • TeleHome appointments can be utilized to connect with your provider via video.

The new location will be 14,000 square feet when completed and will feature 12 exam rooms and four dental operatories with space to expand.

“We are very excited about expanding the vital medical, dental and behavioral health services we offer to Yankton and the surrounding area,” says Wade Erickson, Horizon COO & CFO. “This location is a perfect fit that will allow for better visibility, easier access to care and the space needed to meet the growing healthcare needs of the community. We are grateful for the overwhelming support from the community in helping this dream become a reality!”

The new location was made possible through special financing and resources from First Dakota National Bank and the Rural Electric Economic Development (REED) Fund.

Horizon Health Care encourages patients to call 605-260-0310 to schedule an appointment or to ask questions. Medical and dental teams are available to answer calls during regular business hours.

You can visit horizonhealthcare.org/yankton-clinic for more information, updates and for a sneak peek of our new location as we move forward with renovations.

Like our page on Facebook for real-time updates as well at facebook.com/hhcyankton.

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Northwestern Energy Gift to Horizon Health Foundation Sparks Hope During the Coronavirus Crisis

Northwestern Energy Gift to Horizon Health Foundation Sparks Hope During the Coronavirus Crisis

“No One Left In The Dark”

(HOWARD, SD) – NorthWestern Energy has given a $10,000 gift to Horizon Health Foundation in support of their COVID-19 efforts. The donation will be used to provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to Horizon Health Care workers and to help keep staff employed.

Horizon Health Care is a non-for-profit entity with 32 health centers that serve 22 rural communities across South Dakota. Over half of these centers are in the same service territory as NorthWestern Energy which provides reliable, safe and affordable energy in these communities.

Tom Glanzer, Community Relations Manager for NorthWestern Energy, lost his father, Representative Bob Glanzer and a cousin, 51-year-old Mari Hofer of Huron, to COVID-19. Rep. Glanzer was a long-time healthcare advocate, heavily invested in South Dakota’s rural and reservation communities and Hofer was a third-grade teacher.

“It’s a good time to refocus and remind the public that this is not over,” said Tom Glanzer. “It is an honor to be a part of a company that cares so much for our customers, and NorthWestern Energy’s gift is important to my family, my father’s legacy, my cousin’s legacy and every employee of the company because it reaches some of the most vulnerable members of our communities with the critical health services they need.”

The gift helps Horizon serve nearly 28,000 rural South Dakota residents safely during the crisis. Currently, Horizon uses its supply of PPE quickly in order to protect patients and caregivers.

For a provider to wear an N-95 mask, gown, procedure mask, and a face shield it costs on average $15.25 per use. To purchase 1,500 N-95 masks it costs $3,000 dollars and lasts Horizon approximately 3 weeks.

As the state unemployment rate rises, Horizon is anticipating a 5-10% increase in patient load, at a cost of roughly $800 per patient.

Horizon patient Kim Eggert says, “Everyone has been impacted by the effects of COVID-19. The gift is a reminder that we will get through this together. Horizon has always been there providing exceptional care for the small rural community members who don’t have access to larger healthcare facilities. Horizon always puts their patients first. This investment will help them continue to do that.”

Tracy Pardy, Executive Director of Horizon Health Foundation adds, “NorthWestern is keeping the power on. We’re keeping the power of accessible and affordable healthcare for our patients and together we’re caring for our rural communities” Tracy Pardy said. “The gift provides hope to know that people do care. Thank you, NorthWestern Energy, for partnering with us to help South Dakotans.”

Horizon Health Foundation has raised $19,000 dollars toward COVID-19 efforts, including the $10,000 gift. People wishing to help can visit Horizon Health Foundation’s website at https://horizonhealthfoundation.com/donate.

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Horizon Health Care Dental Clinics Initiate Phased Reopening

Woman on TeleHome Horizon Health Appointment with Behavioral Health Services

Horizon Health Care dental clinics will begin a phased reopening on Monday, May 11th. This will include ongoing care for patients with emergent or urgent dental needs, in addition to treatment for patients whose care has been postponed. All patients who need dental care are encouraged to call their local Horizon Health Care dental clinic to make an appointment.

Due to our compliance with the State of South Dakota and American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations, we have hundreds of appointments that were rescheduled for patient and staff safety. As we reopen routine dental care, we will be doing so in a safe manner, therefore our appointment openings will be limited and will be focused on patients that have already had their appointments moved.

Our office previously has and will continue to follow infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We adhere to the recommendations put forth by these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued, especially during this rapidly changing pandemic.

Horizon Health Care’s commitment to ensuring patient and employee safety will be visible during your next visit to our dental clinics.

  • Patient Screening. All patients who are scheduled during this time will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and will have their temperature taken prior to their appointment. If they indicate they have any symptoms, or have a fever, they will be asked to reschedule their appointment. All patients will be asked to bring and wear a cloth face covering and to practice hand hygiene provided in the office when they arrive for their appointment.
  • Limited appointments. Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients and to allow us to properly disinfect our office and treatment rooms. There will also be limits on types of procedures we are able to complete due to the shortage of personal protective equipment available to our staff. We want to be able to continue to provide care in our communities while keeping in mind the safety for our staff.
  • Limit Visitors. Patients are strongly encouraged to come alone to their appointment to limit the number of people in the office at any one time. Minors or other patients requiring assistance will be allowed one visitor. The visitor will be screened the same as a patient.
  • Employee Screening. All Horizon Health Care employees are completing a COVID-19 screening and temperature check upon entry into the clinic at the start of their work shift.
  • Increased Sanitation Protocols. Although strict sterilization protocols have always been part of our dental practice, we continue to wipe down common surfaces every hour to keep our patients safe.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the

steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our dental practices. To make an appointment, please call your local Horizon dental office.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

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Behavioral Health with TeleHome During Mental Health Awareness Month

Woman on TeleHome Horizon Health Appointment with Behavioral Health Services

Are you taking care of your mental health?

Horizon Health Care’s behavioral health services are here to help you live your best life — inside and out.

With TeleHome technology, we’re able to provide care and support for the many individuals that are experiencing distress from the comfort of their own homes.

Additionally, we’re leveraging other new technologies thanks to grant funding from USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program and the Horizon Health Foundation. Our Foundation collaborated with South Dakota telecommunication companies to support Horizon’s proposed Emergent Medical, BehavioRal, and Acute CarE Telehealth Project (EMBRACE).

Investments from SD telecommunications companies coupled with this USDA grant all support our EMBRACE TeleHealth Project, benefiting rural mental health during these challenging times.

New Technologies Leveraged to Support Patient Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

In December 2019, Horizon received a grant from USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program to improve and expand the delivery of telehealth services across South Dakota.

The grant was provided in addition to matching funds from six South Dakota telecommunication based companies, including: Alliance Communications, Golden West Telecommunications, West River Cooperative, Midstate Communications, Interstate Telecommunications Coop., and SDN Communications.

The grant provided funding for technologies to integrate primary and behavioral health care, as well as to improve the availability of acute care services for patients.

When the grant was written in summer 2019, the possibility of a pandemic was not part of our planning, but Horizon has been able to respond to and meet the challenges of providing care to patients at their home thanks to the investment of technology supported by the EMBRACE Telehealth Project.

“Horizon was evaluating use of Cisco’s WebEx platform to support the delivery of real-time integrated care as a part of the EMBRACE project. When the delivery model for care had to change due to the pandemic, Horizon’s use of WebEx shifted. In addition to using the technology to support integrated care within our clinics, we are also using WebEx to take care of patients from their homes.”

– Scott Weatherill, Chief Information Officer at Horizon Health Care

At this time, Horizon’s behavioral health team is exclusively seeing patients from their homes using both the WebEx solution and telephone visits.

History of Providing Telehealth Health Services

Horizon has been an industry leader in the use of telehealth since 2002, when the organization first began to invest resources in the development of a telehealth network.

Now, with 32 medical and dental clinics across rural South Dakota, Horizon leverages video technology to provide patient care and to connect its team for meetings and professional development.

Contact Us for a Virtual Behavioral Health Appointment

TeleHome is a great option for behavioral health needs. Contact your Horizon clinic to set up an appointment and take care of your mental health.

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Terry Weaver, MD, Joins Jerauld County Community Health Center

(WESSINGTON SPRINGS, SD)

Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Terry Weaver, MD, to Jerauld County Community Health Center. Weaver joins providers Lance Lim, MD, Thomas Dean, MD, and Meghan Torgerson, CNP, to provide primary care medical services to the Wessington Springs community.

Weaver attended Harding University and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1990. He then earned his degree as a Physician in 1995 from Indiana University School of Medicine. He has been practicing family medicine for 25 years.

Originally from Osceola, Indiana, Dr. Weaver enjoys spending time outdoors. “I prefer rural medicine because of my personality and small-town childhood,” stated Terry Weaver, MD. “I especially enjoy the diversity we see in rural communities. These issues are why I originally went into family practice.”

Weaver is currently available for appointments at Jerauld County Community Health Center.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Horizon Health Care Continues, Expands Appointment Options During COVID-19 Pandemic

Homemade Face Mask Tutorial

Horizon Health Care acknowledges that its operations have changed significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. What has not changed is the deep commitment the organization holds to continue to provide care to rural communities across the state of South Dakota.

“As an organization, we have maintained operations in all of our regions across the state. Our employees, like everyone, have been impacted by the pandemic on a personal level. Every decision we make is through the lens of ensuring safety for both our patients and our employees,” noted Christina Konechne, Chief Operating Officer of Horizon Health Care.

The organization has implemented many new procedures to ensure patient and staff safety, including screening procedures, car side COVID-19 testing, availability of personal protective equipment and a rotating schedule where possible to ensure the workforce is preserved. Employees are screened each day when entering the building to ensure they do not show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

Horizon Health Care currently has COVID-19 testing available at all of their medical clinics, though not everyone can be tested due to the availability of testing supplies and the requirements laboratories have set on which specimens can be processed. Patients are encouraged to call their local clinic if they have symptoms of COVID-19 for further guidance.

The organization is leveraging new technologies to keep patients and staff safe as well. Patients can now receive care through a TeleVideo visit or a telephone visit. To schedule an appointment, patients should simply call their local Horizon Health Care clinic where their provider will help determine which visit is right for their care.

“We want to reiterate to our patients and the community that we are here for you, our doors are not closed. Although we are in the middle of a pandemic, we recognize that other health
concerns and questions exist too. We are seeing patients in the clinic, in the parking lot, over the phone and through video,” remarked Lance Lim, Chief Medical Officer for Horizon Health Care.

The Horizon Health Foundation continues to partner with donors and to raise dollars for the Coronavirus Relief Fund and the Employee Emergency Fund. These funds will specifically enable our clinical staff to sustain their resilience while providing safe, high-quality care to our patients and community, and financial assistance to employees experiencing a hardship during this time.

About Horizon Health Care

For the past 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Generous Donation from Dr. Tom and Kathy Dean Will Keep Rural Medicine Alive and Thriving

Dr. Tom and Kathy Dean

Thirty-five years ago, Dr. Tom Dean and his wife, Kathy, bought a plot of land on a hill overlooking Wessington Springs. They built a home, raised their children, gardened, enjoyed the wild life and became increasingly involved in community projects.

They also touched thousands of lives in their cherished hometown.

Dr. Tom, as he’s been known for over four decades, serves as a family practice physician for Horizon Health Care in Wessington Springs. Kathy is a retired Certified Nurse Midwife who frequently sees the faces of those families around town she’s helped deliver and care for. The husband and wife make quite a team.

“We love knowing the people and watching them grow up,” says Kathy, who recently received a letter from a Brookings woman she helped in childbirth. The woman shared that her experience has led her to become a midwife too.

“Being involved with these families is such an honor and a joy,” she adds.

Providing these health care services is also necessary for the survival of life in rural towns that depend upon the crucial medical services Horizon and its staff deliver.

Besides loving their hometown, Tom says, “The best medical care occurs when physicians can practice in one place a long time. You mature, understand your patients better and see the full scope of human behavior.”

A Gift for Community Health Services

As two people passionate about supporting community health, they are also investing in it. Horizon Health Foundation has announced a substantial financial gift from the Deans toward the new Rooted in Rural Scholarship Program. The initiative aims to raise 5 million dollars for recruitment and retention of medical and dental professionals, and employee education and development.

The inaugural gift will establish the Dr. Tom and Kathy Dean Fund for Excellence in Rural Health Care Endowment.

“It addresses a major need,” says Tom. “Finding the right people, who are qualified, energetic leaders is essential to health care and the communities’ survival.”

The endowment ensures Horizon Health Care communities across South Dakota keep pace with the rapidly changing health care environment. In addition to recruiting physicians and other providers, the fund will invest in enrichment, education and development to foster the best patient care.

“One of the things we’ve seen in medicine is burnout issues among graduates,” says Tom. “But a recent South Dakota study has shown there is less burnout in rural communities. There is still a sense you’re doing something important.”

And rural health care is very important, says Kathy. “It’s the entry into the health care system. We are there to get you the care you need when you need it.”

Their generous gift will support South Dakota rural communities in the years ahead.

Rooted in Rural Scholarship Program

The goal of the Rooted in Rural Scholarship Program is to raise $5 million to compete nationally and within South Dakota for limited health care provider resources, to serve local rural populations with the best and brightest practitioners.

The funding breaks down as follows:

  • Medical Excellence Fund will raise $2 million for recruitment and retention of medical clinicians.
  • Dental Excellence Fund will raise $2 million for recruitment and retention of dental clinicians.
  • Professional Enrichment and Education Fund will raise $1 million for employee education and development.

Horizon Health Care serves the health care and dental needs of South Dakotans throughout its 22 medical or dental clinic locations in rural communities. Make a donation today to support the health of your community members.

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How to Help During COVID-19 Pandemic

Homemade Face Mask Tutorial

During this time of uncertainty, many of us are looking for ways to lend a helping hand to health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our health care teams have put their fears for the unknown aside, so they can keep the communities and patients we serve as their top priority. To protect our employees, patients, and visitors, we have enacted new safety precautions at Horizon clinics.

We are grateful to the individuals and organizations who have already stepped up to help, here’s how we continue to need your assistance.

3 Ways to Support Health Care Workers

1. Make homemade facemasks.

We are seeking homemade masks to prepare and offset the limited supplies available to healthcare workers. We are specifically looking for masks that have a built-in pocket for a filter to be placed.

Watch this tutorial video from EasytoSew on how to create face masks. See further information and approved patterns details here.

DIY Approved Materials for One Facemask:

  • 15” Long x 7.5” Wide Cotton or Cotton/Poly Woven Fabric (1)
  • 36” Long Bias Tape or 2” Width Fabric Strips (2)
  • 6.5” Long Plastic Twist Tie or Pipe Cleaner (1)

You may also download the Great Falls Clinic instructions for a complete guide.

2. Donate new and unused personal protective equipment (PPE), antibacterial hand sanitizer, and liquid hand soap.

At this time, Horizon has a supply of the necessary and protective equipment. However, as this pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains, it will be a challenge to obtain more PPE, antibacterial hand sanitizer and liquid hand soap.

If you are able, please consider donating the following (new and unused):

  • N-95 respirator masks
  • Eye shields/goggles
  • Isolation gowns
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Liquid hand soap

3. Give a gift to the Coronavirus Relief/Employee Emergency Funds.

Our Horizon Health Foundation has launched a Coronavirus Relief Fund. Tax-deductible donations to this fund will be used to enable our clinical staff to sustain their resilience while continuing to provide safe, high-quality care to our patients and community.

We are also seeking support for our Employee Emergency Fund to provide financial assistance to our employees experiencing a hardship during this time. For more information, visit: horizonhealthfoundation.com/donate.

Call Before Donating to Your Health Clinic

If you can donate masks or any other equipment listed, please contact the Horizon Health Foundation at 605-772-4553 to arrange the drop-off. We appreciate your continued encouragement and support for your health care teams!

Learn more about COVID-19 to stay safe.

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New Clinic Safety Precautions & Restrictions Regarding COVID-19

Coronavirus in South Dakota

During these uncertain times, Horizon Health Care clinics are taking necessary safety precautions by applying new restrictions for visitors. With these new guidelines, we’re taking every step to protect our patients from being exposed to coronavirus in South Dakota.

Get COVID-19 safety resources here to help keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy.

Precautionary Measures at Horizon Health Care

Effective immediately, Horizon Health Care has implemented the following precautionary measures at our clinics as a result of COVID-19 until further notice:

  • Walk-in appointments are no longer being accepted.
  • All patients are being screened for symptoms of COVID-19 in addition to their travel history prior to being scheduled and again when being seen for an appointment.
  • Once patients arrive at the clinic for an appointment, there will be a sign on the door with the clinic’s phone number – you MUST call the clinic prior to entering and a staff member will come outside to conduct screening.
  • Temperatures will be taken of all patients and employees prior to entering the clinic.
  • Extra visitors with patients at appointments will not be allowed, unless the patient is a minor or needs assistance. In these cases, patients will be allowed only one visitor who will also go through the required screening.
  • Waiting rooms and other public spaces are being disinfected frequently throughout the day. Magazines, toys, and other items have been removed from the waiting room to discourage virus transmission.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but need to take necessary action to protect our employees and patients as much as possible. We appreciate your patience and continued trust in Horizon Health Care and our clinic teams during this difficult time.

Dental Clinics Open for Emergency Care Only

Our medical clinics are open for their normally scheduled hours. However, our dental clinics are only open for emergency care for the next three weeks.
A dental emergency is considered pain, swelling, bleeding, or an urgent dental need that requires immediate attention.

Please Call First Before Visiting a Clinic

Walk-in appointments are no longer being accepted during this time. Please call your local Horizon clinic to book an appointment in advance. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please tell us over the phone and our clinic staff will work to review your symptoms and recommend next steps.

If you have a planned appointment with Horizon Health Care and you don’t feel comfortable coming in, please call us and we will accommodate.

Find your nearest Horizon Health Care location.

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A Journey to Wellness for Say Wah

Healthy Woman in Front of Sunset

Say Wah admits she had a lot to be depressed about. Her health problems were numerous. She wasn’t working, had no insurance and was living with her daughter in Huron, who helped provide care.

Having come to the United States and briefly living in Arkansas, Say knew she was now in a safer, smaller town. But new challenges would arrive. On top of her many medical difficulties, she also discovered blood in her stool.

Say knew that was a serious problem, but like many, she faced a difficult choice. Get the colonoscopy that she could not afford or go untreated and hope for the best.

At-Home Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Life

Horizon Health Care recommended an at-home colorectal cancer screening, which they provided for free during their Colorectal Cancer Awareness promotion last March. Her test kit was free of cost due to the generous donors to the Horizon Health Foundation.

Say met the risk factors, such as age, and the test, unfortunately, came back positive. She didn’t have coverage for a colonoscopy and that’s where the Horizon Health Foundation donors came in again for support.

Horizon Health Foundation Cancer Care Fund

The Horizon Health Foundation provides funding for accessible and affordable health care in the 22 rural communities Horizon Health Care serves. They not only support the medical, dental and mental health services of the clinics, they have special programs in place to help people like Say.

When established in 2016, the Horizon Health Foundation started a cancer care fund to assist with cancer education, care, and support for Horizon Health Care patients. Thanks to the generous donors of the Foundation, they are able to help with patient care.

Horizon Health Care teams identify patients who are a candidate for FIT screening, and the Horizon Health Foundation assists with the kit purchase and mailing expenses. In February, Horizon mailed over 300 FIT kits to patients who were not screened for colorectal cancer. To learn more about our partnership, read our Colorectal Screening Partnership news story.

Say received funding for her colonoscopy from the Foundation. But she received so much more than that. She received peace of mind.

“If I hadn’t done the colonoscopy, I wouldn’t have known my problems,” says Say, speaking with the aid of an interpreter. “I am happy and very grateful the Foundation did this.”

Ruth Lim, MD attended to Say’s care and says, ”The concept of preventative medicine in developing countries is close to being unheard of simply because most people can’t pay for it. The ability to help our patients, one story at a time, is truly wonderful and I am glad that we have the opportunity to pay it forward, thanks to Horizon Health Foundation. The gratitude in our patients’ faces is palpable.”

“I felt like family at Horizon,” says Say. “They cared for me, encouraged me and welcomed me throughout lots of illnesses.”

Say gets regular wellness exams and other services from Horizon Health Care. She adds, “Since coming to the clinic, I am getting better and feeling better with medication. I am not hopeless like before.”

And perhaps that’s the greatest Foundation gift of all – hope.

Take Your Journey to Health with a Wellness Exam

From the very first wellness exam to screenings, and every step along the way, we provide a wide range of personalized health services for supporting every individual health journey.

Don’t wait to attend a yearly wellness exam. A wellness exam protects you and is covered by most insurance plans. Schedule your routine wellness exam today! Find a Horizon Health Care clinic location near you, and reach out to book an appointment.

Give the gift of health during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Donate to the Horizon Health Foundation.

 

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