Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Affordable comprehensive health care is available to everyone visiting Primary Healthcare Centers offices in either Rossville or Trenton.
Since opening its Dade County office in 1978, nonprofit PHC has served the insured, underinsured and uninsured throughout the tri-state area. In total, about 9,500 patients made more than 25,000 visits to PHC’s facilities last year, according to Development Coordinator Barrett Taylor.
The Rossvile office, located in the former Walker County Health Department building on Suggs Street, opened in 2008.
“We will see anybody, regardless of their ability to pay,” Taylor said. “We have full-time staff dedicated to providing services in-house or we can make referrals.”
Erica Newman, community liaison for PHC, said each site offers quality care matching that of any private practice. And while no services are free, they are affordable
“We are one of the few providers that accepts patients with Medicare and Medicaid, without exceptions, as well those who are private pay [uninsured] or have medical insurance,” she said. “We add staff or add hours — we have to be creative — to meet the growing need for care.”
PHC staff meets the medical, dental and mental health needs of a clientele that come from 10 counties in Northwest Georgia, two Northeast Alabama counties and from Marion and Hamilton counties in Tennessee.
“We provide access to care and education about illnesses,” Taylor said. “We try to get people in [to see a doctor or dentist] before they are so sick that they have to go to the hospital.”
That care includes not only regular checkups and physicals, but also involves long-term management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or mental disorders.
Statewide, there are a total of 28 similar health care centers but none serve the tri-state region, according to Primary Healthcare Centers’ CEO Diana Allen. Several things also make PHC different from health department clinics, private practices or walk-in/acute care clinics in providing medical and dental care to low-income households.
One is that PHC receives federal Health Resources and Services Administration grants which allows it to offer reduced rates and subsidized lab fees.
Another is that PHC’s relationship with patients is geared to its goal of providing regular care; if not for a lifetime, for as long as there is a need.
“We want to serve as a patient-centered medical home,” Allen said. “We create a model of care that allows teams of staff to provide patient-focused care over a long period of time.”
What: Primary Healthcare Center, a not-for-profit federally qualified health care center founded in 1978 and dedicated to improving the health of anyone in the community.
Where: Rossville office is located one block west of McFarland Avenue, at 1430 Suggs St.; Trenton office is at 13570 N. Main Street/U.S. Highway 11.
Services: Primary health care, general dentistry and behavioral health services provided regardless of ability to pay.
Medical hours: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Dental hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Additional information: Call 706-866-5520 or visit www.primaryhealthcarecenter.org.