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Orthopedist opens Hinesville practice
ribbon cut
Dr. Stephen Tankersley and his wife Trinia, several of his staffers and Chamber of Commerce members cut the ribbon on Tankersley’s new practice. - photo by Photo by Alena Parker.
Liberty County has attracted a replacement sports medicine orthopedist and the need was definitely there.
“Our practice has gotten, I think, busier quicker than I thought it would,” Dr. Stephen Tankersley said last week during his grand opening.
“I think that the more we can bring to provide specialty care here, the better it is for the community,” the physician said.
Without local specialty care, residents are forced to travel to neighboring counties for service, which can be an obstacle.
Liberty County Hospital Authority Chairman Jon Long said residents were fortunate to get Tankersley.
“We don’t take it for granted, the good fortune of having a good orthopedic practice in our city and associated with our hospital,” Long said. 
Cherri Tucker, Georgia Board of Physician Workforce executive director, said there are no state guidelines or requirements concerning the number of specialty physicians to service residents.
“There’s too many variables in the decision, I would imagine, for a physician choosing a practice location,” Tucker said. “Where a physician does their residency training sometimes has an influence where they practice… but there’s also a lot of personal reasons in those decisions also.”
The state medical education board does offer incentives for doctors who choose rural areas, including scholarship opportunities and repayment programs.
“What our agency does, we report on the physician needs based on the population and number of physicians in the state,” Tucker said. “We provide the information to the state leaders and legislators about the physician needs in the state and work to try to increase the numbers of physicians.”
Besides the “basic bread and butter things,” Tankersley’s office is also seeing more complex conditions.
He and his wife, Trina, are gearing up for a busy sports season.
“We really appreciate them making that investment in our community,” Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kenny Smiley said.
Tankersley’s office is in Suite 106 in the Medical Office Building and is equipped with four examining rooms.

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