Big steps toward a new federally qualified health center, or FQHC, in McKinney took place June 20 as a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the future location of the FQHC, named the Family Health Center at Virginia Parkway.

An FQHC is a community-based health care provider that receives funds from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration Health Center Program to provide primary care services in underserved areas and to patients who are uninsured and underinsured. FQHCs provide care on a sliding fee scale and operate under a government board, according to the HRSA.

FHCVP has been operating out of the Wysong Campus at 120 S. Central Expressway, Stes. 103 and 105, McKinney, since January 2018.

Construction of the new FQHC facility, located at 1620 Virginia St., McKinney, is expected to begin in six to eight weeks and will be ready for staff to move into by April or May 2020, FHCVP CEO Allen Patterson said.

The new location will be more than double the size of the current building, which is approximately 6,800 square feet, and will have double the number of providers.

The existing facility provides primary medical care, dental care and counseling services, but offerings will expand to include a laboratory, X-ray machines, classroom space for medical students and likely a pharmacy, Patterson said in a previous interview.

In addition to the new facility, a federally qualified OB-GYN center will be opening in the next two or three months at Medical City McKinney, located at 4500 Medical Center Drive, as part of the FQHC’s growing operations, Patterson said.

McKinney Mayor George Fuller said there are over 56,000 uninsured McKinney residents, not including those underinsured, and the FQHC will be a place where these patients will be able to receive affordable, quality care for generations.