With 10 years of service to both Liberty and Long counties, Diversity Health Center has replaced its existing clinic at 303 Fraser Drive in Hinesville to accommodate the needs and growth of the community.
A ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday helped christen the new clinic. The new, updated facility will house 16 exam rooms, three dental chairs, a retail pharmacy, behavioral health management, and adult pediatric and case management, according to Diversity Health’s CEO Stephanie Jones-Theaker.
“It’s unfortunate, people shouldn’t have to choose between food and healthcare,” state Rep. Al Williams, D- Midway, said. “But because of Liberty County, they don’t have to. I’m proud to represent a county like Liberty.”
Williams was one of the guest speakers at the ribbon cutting, as well as Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown, and other local public figures.
The privately owned and not-for-profit federally qualified health center has been serving the community since 2008, with over 96,000 visits since opening. According to the Georgia Department of Community Health, FQHC’s increase access to care, improve patient outcomes, and spread benefits of community-based and patient-centered care. In the state of Georgia alone, there are 211 of these FQHC clinics.
Specifically, it remains the mission of the center, says Jones-Theaker is to “provide primary, preventative and mental healthcare services to the residents of Liberty and Long County.”
The focus of the new site is to address the changing needs of the community by expanding and replacing. Originally, the old site provided strictly healthcare, and maxed out at six exam rooms. The new clinic nearly triples that size, and has included other services for the county. Staff size for the building rounds out at about 35 employees, all from the area.
“We want the focus to be that Diversity Health Center is a collaborative site, where all of the services are provided at one location, making it a comprehensive health center,” she said.
Diversity Health acquired $250,000 from opioid funding budget to fund its behavioral health services at the center.
Jones-Theaker is writing a proposal hoping to secure another $250,000. Diversity Health has also received over $11.2 million in grants since its opening, allowing them to continuing helping people.
“The pharmacy also presents a unique opportunity for patients,” Jones-Theaker said. “It provides medicine to patients for a small fee, which in turn is funneled back into the pharmacy to continue providing discounted prescriptions.”
Now, the center is offering services such as, primary care health for adults and children, immunizations, family planning, chronic disease management, case management services, and dental/vision/and transportation. The cost of care is determined on a sliding scale, based on income and size of household. Jones-Theaker reiterates however, that no one will be turned away, regardless of ability to pay.
“Diversity Health Center provides primary health care services to anyone regardless of their age, income, insurance coverage or residence,” she said.