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Sadler Health Center, announced Friday that its board of directors has decided to end discussions about a partnership with Primary Health Network.

Sadler had announced in December 2018 that the two community health centers were exploring a possible partnership.

“While there were certainly benefits to the partnership we were exploring, after much due diligence, the board determined the best way to meet the health needs of this community is to continue to operate as a locally managed and governed entity,” Michael Wolf, chair of Sadler Health Center’s Board of Directors, said in a news release. “I want to thank Primary Health Network for engaging in the partnering discussions with Sadler Health Center. We have a great deal of admiration for their efforts to provide medical services to underserved populations and have learned a great deal from them during the due diligence process.”

PHN is larger than Sadler, serving about 115,000 patients per year across 50 locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Wolf told The Sentinel last December. Sadler serves about 10,000 patients per year out of two locations, one in downtown Carlisle and another in Loysville, Perry County.

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Sadler and PHN are nonprofit organizations and Federally-Qualified Health Centers, a designation from the federal government for community health providers who offer a variety of services regardless of patients’ ability to pay.

Sadler Health Center interim CEO Manal El Harrak said Sadler is in a strong position to pursue opportunities independent of a partnership. According to the news release, Sadler has significantly increased the number of medical patients served, increased total clinic visits, and expanded its medication-assisted treatment for people battling opioid-use disorder.

Sadler’s quality improvement efforts were recently applauded by the Department of Health & Human Services with a Quality Achievement Award for $35,000. In the areas of Early Entry into Prenatal Care and Dental Sealants for Children (between the ages of 6 and 9), Sadler has come out ahead of the Pennsylvania and national averages and the nationally recognized Healthy People 2020 Goals.

“We will build upon the success we have recently achieved to expand services and provide greater access to quality care,” El Harrak said. “We are committed to making our community a healthier place to live and strive to address the changing needs of our patients and our community.”

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Email Jeff at jpratt@cumberlink.com. Follow him on Twitter @SentinelPratt.

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