2018-02-07 / Front Page

Weekend health clinic ‘immediate success’

ROY F. CHALKER JR.

The first weekend operation for the Burke Rural Health Clinic was “an immediate success,” according to Burke Medical Center Clinics Administrator Allison Clark.

The clinic, located at the corner of Jones and Fifth streets, is now open for walk-in patients 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-6 p.m. on Sundays.

BMC Administrator Thomas Steiner said the clinic “stayed busy both days” and that he was extremely pleased with the number of patients.

Steiner said the hospital is systematically implementing a “new strategic vision for the delivery of healthcare in Burke County.” He said the first phase was the purchase and opening of the Rural Health Clinic, followed by the complete transition of physicians and physician leadership in the Emergency Department. “The third phase is bringing specialty clinics to Burke Medical Center. So far these include nephrology, cardiology, general surgery, orthopedics and gastroenterology.” He added that more specialty clinics are in the works.

Clark said that phase four began last November when the clinics’ hours were aligned to better fit the schedules of local citizens. “We always felt there was an underserved working patient population who either could not afford to miss work or elected to put off seeing a doctor until illness forced them out of work.” She said the first test for extended hours was opening a Saturday clinic for those patients who needed to see a gastroenterologist for an upper or lower GI procedure.

She emphasized that the Rural Health Clinic will continue to be open each weekend and no appointment is necessary. “For those patients who do not have a primary care physician, we can connect them with a physician within their network to provide their healthcare needs at a reasonable price,” she said.

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