New health clinic opens its doors to Bainbridge in August
Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015
A federally funded health center is set to open in Bainbridge this August.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell announced $101 million of Affordable Care Act funding awarded to fund 164 health centers, including one in Bainbridge.
Primary Care of Southwest Georgia, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Blakely, worked with Memorial Hospital and Manor to secure a grant for the federal funding needed to open and operate a Federally Qualified Health Center, a designation that means it meets certain criteria to be eligible to receive some federal funding, according to a news release.
“This clinic will be a tremendous benefit to Bainbridge and Decatur County residents by providing another avenue for primary care services,” according to a Memorial Hospital news release. “This will be especially beneficial for patients that have had to use our Emergency Department due to lack of Primary Care resources.”
The current site proposed for the new clinic is 509 Wheat Ave.
The Bainbridge site will serve in conjunction with PCSG’s main office in Blakely. PCSG operates health centers in Thomasville and Blakely and opened a Midwifery Center in Thomasville earlier this year that offers the services of three midwives.
“The Board of Directors and staff of PCSG are very pleased that we will be able to provide high quality, affordable healthcare services in a beautiful setting made possible by the collaboration between Primary Care of Southwest GA and Memorial Hospital and Manor,” PCSG CEO Ann Addison, Ph.D. said in the release. “We worked closely with Billy Walker, CEO, and staff of Memorial Hospital and Manor and Senator Dean Burke while applying for the New Access Point funding. The new practice will help provide local healthcare to those in need.”
Walker said that this facility should help relieve the backlog of patients who come to the emergency department for treatment because they do not have a primary care physician. The ER will screen out those patients and refer them to the primary care center; but it is not just for those patients. Anyone wishing to establish a primary care physician may use the facility, and PCSG plans to offer primary care services with a Family Practice Physician and a Nurse Practitioner.
“We are excited about the opening of this health center in Bainbridge,” Walker said in the release. “We applaud the work of Dr. Ann Addison and Primary Care of Southwest Georgia to help increase access to primary care for the residents of Bainbridge and Decatur County. We will continue to collaborate with PCSG to improve the access to healthcare.”
Once open, services will be available for walk-ins and those with appointments. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 8 a.m. — 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
“This will not only bring new providers to the community but will also create 11 jobs in Decatur County over the next two years,” according to the release.
PCSG is a non-profit corporation that is governed by a board of directors made up of community members, 51 percent of whom are required to be active patients. PCSG works to ensure that its patients have access to all levels of the healthcare system and is especially committed to providing services for the medically underserved.
Patients are accepted with insurance, Medicare and Medicaid; but there is also a discount program for those who are income-eligible, whether they are uninsured or are meeting deductibles for insurance. A full-time Outreach and Enrollment Specialist will be employed to assist patients in enrolling in affordable health insurance or determine eligibility for other programs such as Medicaid.