A New Vision for
Public Health

The Highland Health Center is the culmination of a vision for a better way to deliver community health services in Gaston County. Built in 2010, the HHC is a partnership
of Gaston County’s leading public health agencies:
the Gaston County Health Department and
Gaston Family Health Services,
the community’s federally
qualified health center.

About Highland Health Center

Why Highland?

The Highland community is one of the oldest communities in Gaston County, steeped in history, but facing modern-day challenges. In April 2007, Health Department and Gaston Family Health Services staff conducted a door-to-door survey in Highland, gauging the health needs of residents and asking whether a clinic would be used in the Highland. The overwhelming response from the community was “yes.”

Staff from both agencies prepared a business plan as participants in the Management Academy for Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill. In this document they presented data on Highland including health status, travel times to health department and Gaston Family Health Services clinics, and socio-economic measures. The answer was clear: Highland residents had poor health, have no medical services in their neighborhood … and they needed a primary care clinic.

What is the Highland Health Center?

The 25,000 square-foot Highland Health Center was constructed over twelve months. It features 10 examination rooms, x-ray services, behavioral health services, and an in-house pharmacy. Patients are seen irrespective of their ability to pay; uninsured patients pay based on a sliding fee scale. The facility has environmentally green features including a strategic use of glass in the lobby to provide natural light and use less electricity, motion sensors that activate water in sinks and toilets and turn lights on and off, and a reflective roof that limits heat gain.

The Highland Health Center combines the primary care services of the Gaston County Health Department and Gaston Family Health Services. It provides primary care for persons all ages – newborns, teens, adults, and seniors – as well as maternity care and family planning.

Return to Where it Started

This is also a story about coming full circle. The Highland Health Center is on the same property where the Gaston County Health Department was located until 1989. Now, more than twenty years later, the health department, along with its partner Gaston Family Health Services, is thrilled to come home to Highland and serve the residents of the surrounding area.