Construction is expected to begin in the spring on a $7 million, 25,000-square-foot Heart of Ohio Family Health Center in Whitehall.

The James B. Feibel Family Health Center is expected to open by the end of 2020 at 5000 E. Main St., replacing the Whitehall Family Health Center, 882 S. Hamilton Road.

The new center -- named in memory of James B. Feibel, a founding board member of Heart of Ohio Family Health who died in 2018 -- will be more than twice the size of the existing health center, said Jenn Schehl, director of marketing and development for Heart of Ohio Family Health.

Unlike the health center on South Hamilton Road that Heart of Ohio Family Health leases, the East Main Street facility will be owned by the center, Schehl said.

"We will be able to increase the number of patients we treat and the services we provide," Schehl said.

Patients at the new center will be able to receive dental care, a service not provided at the Whitehall Family Health Center, Schehl said.

The new health center also will have an in-house pharmacy, Schehl said.

The current 11,000-square-foot health center treats 4,000 to 5,000 patients a year; the new center will be able to treat twice the number of patients "because we will have twice the number of (resources)," Schehl said.

Primary health physicians, OB-GYN services and substance-abuse treatments, all provided at the current health center, will continue at the new location, she said.

By the time it opens at the end of 2020, it will be the fifth family health center in the Heart of Ohio Family Health system.

A women's health center is scheduled to open in February at the campus of Mount Carmel East, 6001 E. Broad St., and its first school-based health center is slated to open in March at Whitehall-Yearling High School, 675 S. Yearling Road.

The system has centers at Capital Park Family Health, 2365 Innis Road, and Chantry Family Health, 5560 Chantry Drive.

Founded in 2003, the Heart of Ohio Family Health Center is federally qualified and provides comprehensive health-care services in at-risk, underserved communities, Schehl said.

Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard said she welcomes the larger center into the city.

"Because you give hope, you give what they need to go on, and now you are going to be able to serve so many more people," Maggard said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo