Syntero's Dublin office is offering one more service to keep clients healthy.

Syntero's Dublin office is offering one more service to keep clients healthy.

The Syntero Dublin location, formerly the Dublin Counseling Center, at 299 Cramer Creek Court, added primary care to its behavioral healthcare services Sept. 4.

To offer behavioral and primary healthcare under the same roof, Syntero partnered with Columbus Neighborhood Health Center, a nonprofit organization that provides services to people experiencing financial, social and cultural barriers to healthcare.

"We reached out to them because we knew they already had experience with integrated sites," Syntero CEO Julie Erwin Rinaldi said.

With changes in Medicare reform, healthcare is trending toward integrated services, Rinaldi said.

"It really makes sense for our clients," she said. "It's much more effective to have everything under one roof."

"There has been encouragement at the state level for primary healthcare centers such as Columbus Neighborhood Health Center to help with programs like Syntero," said Thomas Horan, CEO of Columbus Neighborhood Health Center. "The patients we see usually go beyond primary healthcare."

The partnership was also helped along by money from the Franklin County ADAMH Board, Rinaldi said.

Columbus Neighborhood Health Center has four exam rooms set up in the Dublin Syntero office and the groups share the front waiting room and office.

Primary care services are currently offered from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, but that could expand in the future.

"It's the initial effort, but we are also very optimistic that there will be need amongst the general public in the area to take advantage of these services," Horan said.

Although Columbus Neighborhood Health Center usually locates in economically disadvantaged areas, Horan said he sees need in Dublin.

"The assumption is that people in the suburbs don't deal with economic problems, but there is a need in some of these areas and there will be an opportunity to build patient population beyond the Syntero population," Horan said.

The first week of integrated services ran smoothly, Rinaldi said, and is generating a buzz among Syntero clients.

"The first two days, we were almost at capacity," she said.

"It really is an opportunity to do something unique in terms of a relationship with a behavioral health center," Horan said. "What we're excited about and what we see it as is something that will be a value to the community."

The new services also give patients a chance to see some up-and-coming providers, Rinaldi said.

"We're going to have an incubator for health care talent," she said. "We have an affiliation with the Ohio University School of Osteopathic Medicine and the OSU College of Nursing, OSU social work students and OSU healthcare IT students.

"We're really excited about having young, emerging talent help us become more state of the art."

Columbus Neighborhood Health Center sees people with Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and no insurance. There is a sliding-fee scale based on income and family size for the uninsured.

To make an appointment, contact Columbus Neighborhood Health Center at 614-645-5500.