Agency eyes plan for new health facility

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 5, 2007

With the Brookhaven Crisis Intervention Center officiallyopening today, already the possibility exists for further growth inthe Brookhaven area’s medical community.

On Dec. 18, Family Health Care Clinic, Inc. (FHCC), of Pearl,will submit an application to the Mississippi Department of Healthand Human Services requesting funding for expansion into LincolnCounty. FHCC, a member of the Mississippi Primary Care Association,is a small network of primary care providers that operates inmedically under-served areas.

FHCC Program Development Officer Stephen Wilson approached theLincoln County Board of Supervisors on Monday, seeking endorsementfor his company’s expansion and offering an explanation of FHCC’sintentions.

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“Despite the the large concentration of health services inBrookhaven, not many of these services are available out in thecounty,” Wilson said. “Because Lincoln County is designatedmedically under-served, based on the number of primary carephysicians relative to the rural population (64 percent), we havethe opportunity to establish a small center to serve patients whocan’t afford to pay for health care.”

Wilson described the services offered by FHCC as a “basic doctorservice.” The Brookhaven center, if approved, will include one ortwo doctors, a nurse practitioner and a dentist.

“We’re not here to compete, we’re here to complement theexisting medical services,” Wilson said.

FHCC, which currently operates similar facilities in thecounties of Rankin, Simpson, Jefferson Davis, Smith and nearbyLawrence, is seeking an existing, open structure of approximately4,000 square feet for renovation. Wilson said even though FHCCreceives an amount of federal funding, the company operates on atight budget.

“We have funds for renovation, but not for construction,” hesaid. “We’re not into brick and mortar, we’re into providingservice.”

Once FHCC submits the funding application, it will take eightmonths, until August 2008, before the company knows if it canproceed with the expansion plan.

If approved, Wilson said FHCC would be “ready to go” in 90 days.If all goes according to plan, the medical center could be inoperation by January 2009.

“It’s not going to be a big change; just one or two doctors anda dentist,” Wilson said. “But it will make a big impact on thelives of some people.”