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June 3, 2014

Health for the community: Sneak peek held for newly renovated Variety Care

NORMAN — A special “sneak peek” was held for the newly renovated Variety Care on Monday, which will be re-opened to the public soon.

The public celebration will be held 4 to 6 p.m. June 12 with a ribbon-cutting at 5 p.m. for the remodeled health care center located at 317 East Himes. Variety Care, formerly Health for Friends, provides health care services to everyone including those who are uninsured.

“I just couldn’t be more excited about what this represents for the people who are under-served now and people who are really vulnerable and don’t receive the kind of care all the time that they need,” said Lisa Schmidt, Variety Care Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships.

Schmidt said the remodeled facility is a much more efficient use of space that allows them to see many more patients in the Norman community and Cleveland County. She also said it’s been amazing that they have been able to deliver care, pretty much continuously, for an entire year.

“When you’re working with people who are volunteering their time or you’re working with doing a lot of fundraising - Variety Care started as a free clinic, Health for Friends started as a free clinic - there’s just a lot of interruptions and we really thing that that’s an important mark that we’ve been able to provide care to our patients on a very consistent basis,” she said.

Consistency is especially important when they are serving those on the verge of homelessness or already homeless, Schmidt added.

“They have nowhere else in Norman to go but Variety care,” she said. “We’ve really strengthened the safety net for everybody.”

Variety Care will have three health care facilities in Norman after receiving federal grant money including the recently remodeled facility at East Himes, one at 1124 North Porter Avenue and one location they are still searching for.

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