Uninsured have a health center - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Uninsured have a health center

September 26, 2006

Valdosta --  Only a handful of health clinics for uninsured people are available in South Georgia. Businesses in one South Georgia Community are working together to create a facility of their own.  

For 10 years, Georgia's Partnership for Health has worked to make South Georgians more proactive about their healthcare.  "We've been mainly involved in helping to prevent chronic disease through the community through different wellness initiative, businesses, churches, and schools," said Partnership Director John Sparks.

They say 20 to 25 percent of people in the area are without insurance or proper health care. So the partnership, a joint effort between Valdosta State University, Valdosta Technical College, South Georgia Medical Center, Smith Northview Hospital and local businesses, created a health center for those people.  

"It's a very unique opportunity to work together and accomplish things that none of us could accomplish on our own," said Chuck Roberts of Smith Northview Hospital.

The Partnership Health Center will move into South Georgia medical center's current hospice house once their new facility is completed this spring. The center will provide uninsured people with primary health care and certain medications while running primarily off donations, grants, and volunteers.

Although much more is still needed before the doors open, community response has already been overwhelming.  "We've already had a great response from doctors in the area that have been offering their time, volunteering their time and services for this," Smith said.

The Partnership Health Center hopes to open its doors in the summer of 2007.   Their phone number is 229-245-0020.

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