North Metro Pediatrics hosting Oct. 12 open house

North Metro Pediatrics will host a family open house Saturday, Oct. 12 in the parking lot of the clinic at 10081 Dogwood St. NW, Coon Rapids, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

There will be outdoor games, face painting and balloon animals, food, and drawings for prizes for the kids in attendance. For the grand prize, a boys’ bike and a girls’ bike were donated for this event by Bike Cops for Kids.

Also at this event will be a community health fair, attended by Children’s Dental Services, Anoka County Community Health, Anoka/Washington County Head Start, Lee Carlson Center and others.

Local community leaders have been invited to speak during this event as well. Among those invited are State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Coon Rapids Mayor Tim Howe and Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo. Kiffmeyer is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m.

North Metro Pediatrics was founded in 2005 by Connie Blackwell. The nonprofit clinic operates on a sliding fee scale based on family income levels and federal poverty guidelines.

It is the only clinic in Anoka County and one of very few throughout the entire Twin Cities to offer pediatric care on a sliding fee scale, according to Blackwell.

Its mission is to provide affordable care to all children in need and the clinic never turns anyone away due to lack of insurance or inability to pay, Blackwell said.

North Metro Pediatrics sees children up to the age of 21 who are underinsured or have no insurance at all, she said.

Blackwell and her staff provide care to over 800 families in the community and have noticed a steady increase in patients with high deductible health care, little medical coverage or no insurance at all.

“There’s no doubt we continue to see families come into our clinic who are struggling,” said Blackwell. “It is so important to get these families and their young ones medical care.

“Underinsured children are five times more likely not to receive needed medical treatment and three times as likely to not receive necessary prescription medicine.”

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