COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Mercer Medicine has officially cut the ribbon on their brand new Harris County clinic.

This is the fifth Mercer Medicine clinic to be opened in Georgia and the first clinic to be opened in Harris County. Mercer Medicines’ clinics aim to provide healthcare to the underserved communities of rural Georgia while also providing an educational opportunity for the Mercer Medicine students.

Dean of the School of Medicine Dr. Jean Sumner shared the importance of having a clinic like this in a rural area like Harris County.

“If you have to drive 30 or 40 minutes to a hospital and you’re having a serious problem you don’t make it many times,” said Dr. Sumner. “So we have a state-of-the-art clinic with X-Ray, the ability to resuscitate, quality physicians.”

She also said the importance of this clinic serves the community beyond healthcare.

“I think it means that good healthcare in a community allows economic development,” said Dr. Sumner “And it results in improved educational performance for children and it saves lives.”

Superintendent of Harris County School District Roger Couch said the clinic allows the opportunity to bring students back to county event after they’ve started their careers.

“That’s one thing that will help us with this med center. We teach a lot of a kids, a lot of great skills and they go other places for school and they move off and that’s been almost a brain drain on our community,” said Couch. “And to have this happen, to have doctors who went through our program, went to school and return here to this community to be able to give back and be a part of it. That’s just a blessing.”

Two of the Mercer Medicine students in attendance of the ribbon-cutting ceremony call Harris County home.

A large crowd attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony included State Sen. Randy Robertson, Hamilton Mayor Julie Brown, Superintendent of Harris County School’s Roger Couch and more.

The clinic is now open for appointments. You can head to their website mercermedicine.com.