Pembroke Bryan Co residents no entry to reasonably priced well being care clinic
Metropolis cannot afford to rebuild medical facility, forcing lower-income residents to seek out different options, resembling drive to clinic in Savannah.
The results from the 2022 twister that ripped by means of Bryan County have hit some residents in hidden methods. Restoration efforts are ongoing: buildings are being reconstructed and there are just a few piles of brush right here and there.
However the tornado additionally destroyed the city’s solely reasonably priced medical facility, Curtis V. Cooperabandoning many sufferers who relied on the clinic for well being care. The Pembroke outpost of the Savannah-based major care clinic was pivotal for people who can’t afford medical insurance however earn too excessive an revenue to qualify for Medicaid.
Not a day goes by that Dr. Laura McKay doesn’t reminisce about shoppers she used to deal with in Pembroke. McKay has since however the sufferers she handled made an enduring impression.
“Lots of the folks in that a part of the county are very poor and loads of them, notably round COVID, misplaced their jobs,” stated McKay. “I ended up leaving Curtis V. Cooper in September, principally as a result of it was simply too tough for me to remain there and never be capable to return to Pembroke as a result of that is the place my coronary heart was.”
The Pembroke Curtis V. Cooper location was housed in a constructing owned however Metropolis of Pembroke. In response to newly employed Metropolis Administrator Chris Benson, stated there’s not sufficient funding to assist a brand new facility in its entirety.
“We do have insurance coverage proceeds out there to go in the direction of the development of a brand new constructing however the funds wouldn’t cowl the complete price,” stated Benson.
In response to the Heart for Illness Management, 15% p.c of the U.S. inhabitants lives in rural areas. Benson stated he can solely think about what residents are going by means of now that one in all their most significant assets is gone.
“Once we misplaced Curtis V. Cooper in the neighborhood, we did not have an alternate,” stated Benson. “The thought was to get one thing in right here in some kind or style to have these providers in the neighborhood.”
Georgia Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah) stated lower-income Georgians, together with these in and round Pembroke, will quickly have entry to a Medicaid waiver program accredited by the Georgia Normal Meeting. Beginning July 1, people who earn lower than 100% of the federal poverty degree can apply for the Georgia’s Pathways to Protection, which grants Medicaid eligibility to Georgians who work, attend faculty or carry out group service not less than 80 hours a month.
“In the event that they’re capable of work or volunteer for 20 hours per week or go to school or vocational technical faculty, they are going to be enrolled into that Medicaid program at the moment,” stated Watson.
Curtis V. Cooper CEO Albert Grand stated the clinic has secured an settlement with a separate entity to supply cellular providers in Pembroke this summer season. They plan to arrange store in the identical location the place their authentic facility was destroyed. Till then, residents should grapple with a significant loss that places them in jeopardy of minor diseases worsening.
“A few of our shoppers have been coming to Savannah,” stated Grand. “We do have cellular models and we wish to get these again on the market. We simply had a dialog with the town to be sure that space is prepared.”
Latrice Williams is a common project reporter protecting Bryan and Effingham County. She will be reached at [email protected].
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