Mercer Medicine Holds Ribbon-Cutting for New Rural Health Clinic in Fort Gaines

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Mercer Medicine Clay County ribbon-cutting

FORT GAINES – Mercer Medicine Clay County on Nov. 12 celebrated a ribbon-cutting at its offices, which opened earlier this month at 101 Hartford Rd. West, Suite 1, in Fort Gaines.

“We are bringing high-quality primary care services to Clay County and the West Georgia area,” said Jean Sumner, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “This is a beautiful area with good people, and we sincerely appreciate the support we have received from the community and its leaders. We look forward to working with patients and health professionals here.”

The 4,885-square-foot clinic is located at the site of the county’s former hospital facility and is adjacent to the public health department. The facility was refurbished with a grant from the OneGeorgia Authority in addition to local contributions.

“We sincerely thank members of the Georgia General Assembly, who have prioritized expanding health care opportunities in rural areas of the state,” added Dr. Sumner.

In attendance at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting were State Rep. Gerald Greene (R-Cuthbert), Fort Gaines Mayor Barry Waters, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College President David Bridges, Andrew College President Linda Buchanan, Peach State Health Plan Chief Performance Officer Debra Peterson Smith and representatives from the State Office of Rural Health, Development Authority of Clay County, Clay County Health Department and Global Partnership for TeleHealth.

Mercer Medicine Clay County provides primary care services, including annual physicals, DOT physicals, immunizations, X-ray, EKGs, point-of-care testing and lab work, to the citizens of Clay, Randolph and surrounding counties. Additional services will be available in the coming months.

Dr. A.S. Ghiathi, a board certified family medicine physician who is well known and highly respected in the area, along with certified physician assistant Jennifer Sanders and a professionally trained staff, are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

With more than 30 primary care and specialty providers in five locations, Mercer Medicine brings high-quality health care services to communities throughout Georgia.

As a subsidiary of Mercer University School of Medicine, Mercer Medicine operates a multi-specialty medical complex in downtown Macon and is opening other primary care clinics throughout rural Georgia.

In July 2018, Mercer Medicine expanded outside of Macon with a clinic in Plains. Mercer Medicine opened an additional clinic in October 2019 in Fort Valley in Peach County and plans to open a fourth clinic in Eatonton in Putnam County this spring. Additionally, Mercer Medicine has begun a partnership with the local government, school system, chamber of commerce and others to establish a future clinic in Hamilton in Harris County.

About Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)

Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School’s primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master’s degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. in rural health sciences.

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Kyle Sears