Everyone benefits from a relationship with a primary care provider. But it has to be accessible and affordable. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell announced $101 million of Affordable Care Act funding awarded on May 5, 2015 to fund 164 additional health centers.
Memorial Hospital has been working with Primary Care of Southwest Georgia (PCSG) on a grant application for federal funding to open and operate a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Bainbridge.
The proposed site is 509 Wheat Avenue. Primary Care of Southwest Georgia, Inc. (PCSG) will help fill a critical need in Bainbridge and surrounding counties.
The center, scheduled to open in late Summer of 2015, is a “Federally Qualified Community Health Center,” a designation that means it meets certain stringent criteria to be eligible to receive some federal funding. The Bainbridge site serves in conjunction with PCSG’s main office in Blakely, Georgia. PCSG operates health centers in Thomasville and Blakely and opened a Midwifery Center in Thomasville earlier this year which offers the services of three midwives.
PCSG will serve the broad health needs of Southwest Georgia residents through a family practice model of care. Ann Addison, Ph.D., CEO of PCSG, stated, “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.”
Dr. Addison continued, “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.”
Billy Walker, CEO of Memorial Hospital and Manor, stated, “We are excited about the opening of this health center in Bainbridge. We applaud the work f 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.”
PCSG is a non-profit corporation that is governed by a board of directors made up of community members, 51% 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. This will not only bring new providers to the community but will also create 11 jobs in Decatur County over the next two years. See the classified section for immediate openings. Once open, services will be available for walk-ins and those with appointments. The primary care center’s hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.