History


Near downtown Wilson, rising from Nash County farmland, or by the shores of the Tar River in Edgecombe County, one can find a gem…a promise of affordable, accessible and acceptable healthcare services for all people.  Over more than two decades, Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc. has built community health centers and developed a broad scope of healthcare services in these eastern North Carolina counties.
 
Wilson Community Health Center: Established in 1994
In the early nineties, the populace of Wilson County was suffering.  Financial barriers forced many residents to postpone taking care of themselves until their conditions became emergency room or inpatient care issues.


Recognizing the needs of the community, a group of committed Wilsonindividuals formed a group called the Primary Care Committee.  The Committee’s purpose was to take a more in-depth look at the problem and propose solutions to city and county leadership.


Following a year-long study, the Primary Care Committee approached the Duke Endowment and the North Carolina Office of Rural Health for assistance in bringing health services to the City of Wilson.  Wilson County supported the effort by providing a facility with a lease payment of $1.00 per year.  The community rallied around the cause by encouraging citizens to donate $1.00, which was matched by $5.00 from the Office of Rural Health.


From the vision of a small community and the support of local and state resources, the Wilson Community Health Center was born…..a true story of grass roots advocacy in action.  The Wilson Community Health Center campus now covers an entire city block near downtown Wilson.

 

Harvest Family Health Center: Harvest
Established in 1998

To the North of Wilson, just up NC Highway 58 toward Sandy Cross, a Catholic Nun, Sister Simone Begin’, was assisting migrant farm workers and their families during the growing season; working from a public school….sometimes a tent….in rural Nash County.  Sister Simone and her small band of Catholic Nuns worked through the 1980’s.  She is recognized as the true founder of the Harvest Family Health Center. 


In the early 1990’s, the North Carolina Office of Rural Health and Nash County Health Department came together to place a triple-wide trailer on a donated lot in a place called Strickland Crossroads.  Utilizing County Health Department staff to provide healthcare services, the Nash County Migrant Center provided seasonal primary health care to area farm workers and their families.


In 1998, the Nash County Health Department made a decision to hand the operation over to Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc., and the Center became the second site owned and operated by the Corporation.  Carolina Family recruited permanent staff and opened the Center year-around, accommodating not only farm worker families, but other permanent residents of Nash County and its surrounding communities.


The Center was relocated to a larger facility in 2002, with financing from The Duke Endowment, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Over the next several years, the population accessing services continued to grow in number and diversity.  With financial assistance from the USDA, Carolina Family relocated Harvest Family Health Center once again into an even larger facility, completed in April 2011. …another true story of service born of community need.

 

Carolina Family Dental Center: Established in 1998

The unmet need for accessible and affordable oral health services in rural North Carolina is overwhelming.  For more than two decades, Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc. has recognized and accepted the challenge to include dental care and treatment in its comprehensive scope of service.

As early as 1998, Carolina Family supported a part-time Dentist and one Dental Assistant, providing care through the Harvest Family Health Center.  The dental chair was a fold-up, temporary chair that could be easily transported from place to place.  There were no fancy overhead lights.  The Dentist wore a 'miners light' while performing procedures.  At that point in history, most patients visiting the Nash County facility were migrant farmworker families and, sadly, most procedures involved extractions.

Throughout the next several years, Carolina Family was fortunate to obtain local grant funding to enhance its oral health program and eventually established oral health services delivered from each of its three physical locations.  Unfortunately, operating three sites proved to be unsustainable, as dental providers and financial resources were scarce, forcing Carolina Family to centralize its dental practice to achieve an economy of scale.

In 2018, a federal grant made possible the opening of a brand new dental facility; Carolina Family Dental Center.  The building, located in Nash County, houses 15 operatories with state-of-the-art digital equipment in every room.  Free patient transportation alleviates barriers to access.  Four Dentists and two Dental Hygienists deliver care of the highest quality.  Charges are income based, with flexible payment plans available.

While demand exceeds the supply of affordable oral health options for many, Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc. will continue to rise to the challenge of meeting the needs of residents...in the community...for the community.

 

FreedomFreedom Hill Community Health Center: Established in 2005
Nash and Wilson counties were not alone in their shortage of primary care services.  Edgecombe County was quickly gaining notoriety for high poverty rates and unfortunate disparity in health outcomes among its residents.


Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc. commissioned a Needs Assessment and, based on the results, petitioned the Health Resources and Services Administration for grant funding to support the operation of a community health center in Edgecombe County.


Provisionally located in Tarboro, Freedom Hill Community Health Center opened a small medical office adjacent to Heritage Hospital in the Spring of 2005.  Ancillary services were offered from a FEMA trailer located beside the Town Hall in Princeville.


Adopting the original name of the town of Princeville, Freedom Hill honors the memory of Turner Prince and the freed African Americans who founded Princeville at the end of the civil war.

Carolina Family secured a USDA loan to build the 10,000 square foot, state-of-the-art healthcare facility that now stands on the outskirts of Princeville.  In 2016, Freedom Hill and the Town of Princeville were ravaged by the floods of Hurricane Matthew.  Following an extended relocation to the Tarboro Riverside Mall, Freedom Hill returned "home"; as strong and resilient as the Edgecombe community it serves.

 

map

Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc.

Corporate Offices
303 Green Street East  
Wilson, NC  27893
Phone:  252-293-0013
Fax:  252-243-2576

 

Carolina Family Dental Center

Located near Nashville
Serving Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson and surrounding counties
8282 NC Highway 58 South
Elm City, NC 27822
Phone: 252-443-7764
Fax:  252-972-4390
Non-Emergency After Hours/Después de horas No Emergencias: 888-648-7229

 

Freedom Hill Community
Health Center

Located near Princeville
Serving Edgecombe and surrounding counties
162 NC Highway 33 East
Tarboro, NC  27886
Phone:  252-641-0514
Fax:  252-641-1668
Non-Emergency After Hours/Después de horas No-Emergencias: 888-648-7229

 

Harvest Family Health Center

Located near Nashville
Serving Nash and surrounding counties
8282 NC Highway 58 South
Elm City, NC  27822
Phone:  252-443-7744
Fax:  252-443-7611
Non-Emergency After Hours/Después de horas No-Emergencias: 888-648-7229

 

Wilson Community Health Center

Located in Wilson
Serving Wilson and surrounding counties
303 Green Street East
Wilson, NC  27893
Phone: 252-243-9800
Fax:  252-243-9888
Non-Emergency After Hours/Después de horas No Emergencias: 888-648-7229