July 1st will mark a significant date for health care in Knox County and surrounding areas. The Samaritan Center, a Community Mental Health Center, will begin operating under the leadership and governing board of the Family Health Center, having spent the last 50 years in partnership with Good Samaritan.

The merger of Samaritan Center and Family Health Center will provide an integrated health care model by providing primary and behavioral health care in one location.


Studies show most health care visits primarily have a psychosocial basis and the highest utilizers of health care commonly have untreated/undiagnosed behavioral health needs. The addition of behavioral health care to a primary health center allows seamless follow up through the behavioral health care provider for those with chronic behavioral health needs. By providing the continuity of care, the patient’s overall outcomes improve.

The Samaritan Center opened in January 1972 as the comprehensive Community Mental Health Center (CMHC), located in the newly constructed Columbian Tower of Good Samaritan. By the end of the first year, the Center was treating roughly 1,000 clients and with the client volume increasing steadily, the need for additional offices was evident and in 1982, a new outpatient center was constructed at 515 Bayou Street. The new facility allowed for expansion of services and this same office continues to treat clients today. In 1995, the CMHC was renamed to its current Samaritan Center name to reflect the growing diversification of programs and services, as well as its expansion into Daviess, Martin, and Pike counties.

Through the support of community partners, the Family Health Center (FHC) was established in 2018 to provide the community with affordable primary health care. The FHC is a 501(c) 3 organization governed by a Board of Directors and was awarded designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in 2019. Under the FQHC designation, the Family Health Center is a community-based and patient-directed organization designed to provide much-needed health care to individuals that are underinsured or without insurance by using a sliding fee scale. The FHC provides services to members of the community, including those with Medicaid, Medicare, Commercial Insurance, and those that are self-pay.

Originally located on South Sixth Street near Good Samaritan, the Family Health Center (FHC) grew quickly with patients seeking primary health care and soon needed a new location. The FHC moved to 1027 Washington Avenue, Suite B, in October of 2020 where it continues to operate daily.

Merging the primary health and behavioral health practices together in the same buildings will allow clients to receive most of their overall health care in one convenient location. As shown in a study recently completed by the City of Vincennes, transportation is a huge barrier for many individuals living in the city, as well as most communities in Southwest Indiana. Allowing a patient to schedule all of their appointments for care on one day and in one location will likely reduce the number of cancellations and missed appointments by patients.

“Integrating physical and behavioral health services can promote patient referrals and follow-up, foster collaboration in decision making, and connect patients to needed resources, resulting in more effective and efficient care,” said Family Health Center CEO Jennifer Emmons. “Providing both primary and behavioral health care in one facility reduces transportation issues and missed follow-up appointments which improves the overall wellbeing of our patients.” Emmons went on to say, “Our focus moving forward is increasing access to care in our facilities that will allow consumers to receive the care they need in a timely manner.”

Leaders with the Samaritan Center, Family Health Center, and Good Samaritan have worked closely together to formulate this transition. Staffing, logistics, and many things were considered to ensure the merger would be both beneficial to consumers and community members. It also required review and approval by the Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addictions and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Good Samaritan President and CEO Rob McLin stated, “The philosophy of combined mental and physical health is a successful concept especially in rural areas like Southwest Indiana. Good Samaritan appreciates the relationship that we have had with Samaritan Center over the last 50 years and will continue to work with our community partners in behavioral health care for our region.”

Another significant benefit of the merger will allow more federal and state dollars to come back to the facility, which will allow for the expansion of programming and staff. In May of 2020, the Samaritan Center received a $4 million-dollar Federal grant, that added Family Preservation Services for its Intensive Youth Services program at the Willows, Adult Chemical Dependency Services, and the Wabash Valley Friendship Clubhouse, along with the hiring of additional direct service staff, including case managers, peer recovery specialist, therapists, and a primary health nurse practitioner.

Patients of the Samaritan Center will notice new signage and name changes to the existing locations. Locations will remain the same and are as follows:

  • Family Health Center, 1027 Washington Avenue, Suite B, Vincennes
  • Bayou Family Health Center, 515 Bayou Street, Vincennes
  • Riverfront Family Health Center, 300 North First Street, Vincennes
  • Willows Family Health Center, 1901 Willow Street, Vincennes
  • Daviess County Family Health Center, 2007 State Street, Washington
  • Martin County Family Health Center, 200 South JFK Avenue, Loogootee
  • Pike County Family Health Center, 611 Main Street, Suite 110, Petersburg
  • Family Health Center Administration, 702 Old Wheatland Road, Vincennes

To schedule an appointment with any of the Family Health Center locations, patients can call 1-833-777-7342. The Family Health Center invites you to visit their newly designed website at to learn more about all of the services offered by the Family Health Center organization.

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