Rupert’s Family Health Services brings pride to a blighted area

RUPERT — Family Health Services began seeing patients in 1983 in a doublewide mobile home at Minidoka Memorial Hospital. The nonprofit has since grown to include medical clinics across the Magic Valley.

As the Rupert facility became outdated, the organization thought about rebuilding at its old location but realized the site was too small to provide for the needs of the growing community, Family Health Services CEO Aaron Houston said.

Then the city of Rupert offered Family Health Services a new location just a block off its town square at the site of a long-abandoned building.

Using money from a competitive federal grant, the organization tore down the old Minico Auto Parts building and built a new clinic at 402 Sixth St.

“The building was in such a state of disrepair,” said Leslie Garner, chief financial officer with the city of Rupert. “It was an eyesore — part of the roof had caved in.”

The community experienced a rush of adrenaline when it recently re-embraced the Rupert Square, Garner said. Moving the clinic into a new building near the Square also increased community pride.

“We worked with the city to revitalize the area,” Houston said. “The city owns the property and we invested our own money to build the new clinic.”

Before opening in March, the new clinic expanded its services by adding a dentist, a physician who can deliver babies and a pharmacy, increasing its number of employees from 14 to 24.

Family Health Services provides sliding-scale fees to accommodate those struggling to pay for health care.

“It’s a labor of love,” Garner said. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for them.”

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