A few days after Randolph county residents watched the doors close on the area’s only hospital officials offer some relief with a new health care center.
The county decided to contract with CareConnect to offer medical services to folks in town and surrounding areas.
“For me and so many others in our community it helped to calm that fear that we will have at least some access to healthcare,” Dr. Kuanita Murphy, a Cuthbert resident said.
When the hospital closed, many feared losing their jobs. Cuthbert mayor Steve Whatley says with the new clinic, many of those workers get to stay in town.
“I know of at least one or two that have been able to secure employment over at the clinic from the hospital. Some of the other staff that was already at the clinic about half of them are staying and going to work with Dr. Gehlot,” Mayor Whatley said.
Whatley also says this means nursing students at Andrew College in Cuthbert will get to continue their clinics, an essential part of their degree, at the new health clinic.
The new clinic only takes away some of the fear. Unlike an emergency room, the clinic will not offer X-rays or radiology, but they can keep a patient stable that is in critical care until they can be transferred. It’s also does not offer 24/7 care.
“CareConnect clinic will be open 11 hours a day, everyday, 7 days a week only closing on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day but we will serve anyone who comes in our clinic between 9a.m. to 8p.m.,” Dr. Ajay Gehlot, CEO/clinical director of CareConnect Health said.
Officials within the clinic say they are also planning on bringing in mental health services which the county’s probate judge Tony Thompson says is needed in his rural community.
“Mental health is taking a big hit. This area, it just seems to be a lot of it. Especially in your rural areas and resources like Columbus, Albany is the closest place to get that help but if we can get them evaluated here to see the severity of their help they need that would be great,” Thompson said.
The new medical clinic is set to open in mid November.