Community Health Center of the North Country operates under United Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country, Inc., which started as a division under Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State in 1975. It was initially a single room office at the Canton-Potsdam Hospital, where case management-type services were offered by a Home Service Director. Over the next 37 years, the organization experienced an expansion of services & staff that had it moving & relocating a number of times. A few years after the North Country Division opened, Home Service Director positions were established in Clinton/Essex, Franklin & Jefferson Counties. Within this same timeframe, Orthopedic & pediatric clinic services, administered by volunteer physicians, were initiated to prevent parents from having to drive to Watertown, Syracuse or Burlington for diagnostic evaluations and follow-ups.
In 1985, the main office moved from the Canton-Potsdam Hospital to the E.J. Noble building in Canton, where there were approximately 6 employees. Two years later, the office relocated to the current location at 4 Commerce Lane in Canton with approximately 21 employees. Shortly after this second move, the agency met the criteria to become certified by the New York State Department of Health as an Article 28 Diagnostic & Treatment Center. It operated as an Extension Clinic under CPA of NYS & part-time clinics were set up in Franklin & Clinton counties.
In 2002, the organization became its own entity under a local Board of Directors. Two years after this, the agency added an additional 18,000 square feet to the 4 Commerce Lane building to bring its staff back together. In 2007, the Community Health Centers in both St. Lawrence & Franklin Counties were designated as Federally Qualified Health Centers.
The organization finished construction on a new building in Malone a couple of years ago to accommodate the growth of services and staff for the Franklin County area, and in October of 2013, to help fill the health care void after E.J. Noble Hospital closed, CHCNC opened up an additional primary care center in Gouverneur Hospital which also immediately attained the status of a Federally Qualified Health Center. Finally, in 2015 Community Health Center of the North Country took over administration of the WIC Program in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties.
As the health care industry continues to evolve in the coming years, our team will continue looking for new ways to provide our community members with the best services possible.