Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center in Chicago Heights has opened up a pediatric health and wellness center that may service up to 9,600 Southland patients per year.

Aunt Martha’s celebrated the grand opening of the $4 million property on June 6. It is located at 500 Dixie Highway.

The 11,000-square-foot building has nine exam rooms and provides pediatric care and mental health care. It also boasts a fitness center and community room.

“We wanted it to be a project that’s about more than being a health center,” Aunt Martha’s spokesman Tom Owens said. “It’s something the community could be proud of and they could take advantage of in other ways other than taking their child in to see a doctor.”

Owens said the center, which created 15 new jobs, will care for the impoverished living in and near Chicago Heights. The center joins the Aunt Martha’s dental clinic, which was added in April 2010 to the Aunt Martha’s women’s center at 233 W. Joe Orr Road, Chicago Heights.

Both buildings were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, one of the signature pieces of legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama during his first term.

“When you look at maps of where the uninsured population is in Illinois, the south suburban area is one of the dark red areas on the map,” Owens said. “There are tens of thousands of uninsured adults and uninsured kids and they now have the opportunities to get the care they need.”

According to Owens, the new site will “serve anybody regardless of their ability to pay.”

It is one of two brand-new Aunt Martha’s buildings paid for by the stimulus act. Aunt Martha’s will celebrate the grand opening of a $4 million clinic at 8 a.m. June 20 at 1200 Eagle St., Joliet.

Both buildings were designed by Oakbrook Terrace-based architectural firm Anderson Mikos.

Owens said both buildings feature eco-friendly technology such as motion-detecting light switches, touch-free sinks, and the installation of bamboo in the lobbies.

Furthermore, the facade of both buildings is made with a material designed to replicate the look of all the limestone buildings in downtown Joliet.