Center Associates officially moves to south side facility
It’s been a long road for Center Associates Executive Director Paul Daniel and his team as they have patiently waited — with a few delays — to move into their new facility at 3809 S. Center St., but they finally made it official on Monday. So far, both patients and employees are thrilled with the new space.
As Daniel put it during an interview, it’s nice to be moved in, but the counseling service’s mission continues. Nick Calzada, an MSW Licensed Independent Social Worker at Center Associates, joked that staff members were still trying to figure out where to find basic amenities like toilet paper in the new office, but at least they had the coffee machine fully operational.
“We’re excited for the here and now. This is where we’re at providing these services, and it just makes it more welcoming,” Daniel said. “And I think the community is going to embrace this. Mental health is not going away, so we want to continue to keep our eyes open for what other needs are there that we can expand on.”
Although he hasn’t had time to conduct an exit interview with every patient who passes through the doors at Center Associates, Daniel said he did talk to the first patient at the new building, who said it looked “nice” and felt “so comfortable to be here.”
Daniel has also outlined longer term goals for the new facility, like creating an “urgent care” for mental health needs and establishing a pharmacy to make Center Associates more of a one-stop shop. There is still room for expansion at the south campus, and Daniel said he would like to see an entire building set aside for the urgent care clinic at some point in the future.
Center Associates is currently staffed with five medical providers with another one set to come on in September. Erin Hatcher, a nurse practitioner who serves as the practice’s medical director, said the staff now has capabilities that weren’t previously available to them, and she’s excited to see what they can do.
“Now we have much nicer spaces. We also have more offices, so we have another nurse practitioner who’s coming onboard — just being able to provide more room for people to work and space that’s more mental health friendly,” she said. “Having that pharmacy coming in, I think, will really help us to better serve the community as well.”
Daniel knows that the adjustment from the old location at 9 N. Fourth Ave. will take some time — in response to questions from some residents on the north side of town, he’s also working with Region 6 Resource Partners on possible transit arrangements for those without vehicles — but ultimately, it came down to proximity. With UnityPoint building a new hospital nearby, Primary Health Care relocating and McFarland planning a south side move early in 2023, it only made sense to be close to them.
“I think going from a medical campus up (north), which was so comfortable — the proximity was right there. We’re a little bit spread out (now), but the relational aspect still gets us going,” Daniel said.
To learn more about Center Associates, visit the new location at 3809 S. Center St. or call (641) 752-1585.
Contact Robert Maharry
at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or