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Faith-Based Clinic Partners with Health Department to Provide Primary Care in Dickson County

Sunday, June 18, 2006 | 07:00pm

Dickson, June 19, 2006The Dickson Community Clinic (DCC) and the Dickson County Health Department today announced a partnership to provide services to area residents beginning July 6, 2006. This collaboration between a faith-based, community not-for-profit primary care health care organization and a county health department is the first of its kind in the state.

“Like Cover Tennessee, this innovative partnership will improve access to primary care for people who have no insurance,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “I applaud the Dickson Community Clinic and the Dickson County Health Department for coming together to better serve their community.”

Last week, Governor Bredesen signed Cover Tennessee into law, which among other improvements will expand access to primary care for the working uninsured.

“We are excited that this innovative partnership will mean our staff will be seeing patients on Thursday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon at the health department in Dickson located at 301 West End Avenue,” said Dr. Jeff Gordon, a DCC pediatrician.

DCC physicians may volunteer to work additional hours at the health department in the future Gordon said, depending on community need and the demand for their services. DCC is a faith-based primary care initiative of area physicians.

“This arrangement with local volunteer physicians will allow the health department to serve more patients during regular business hours,” said Dickson County Health Department Director Bill Leach. “In the future, the partnership may also allow the health department to consider expanding its business hours, therefore increasing access to care for individuals who work during the day or for those who might have transportation issues.”

As part of the Governor’s effort to expand the health care safety net across the state, patients without health insurance in Tennessee have access to health care services through various clinics, including primary care clinics in various local health departments. The Dickson County Health Department has been providing primary care services since 1994, and because of safety net funding, it has been able to increase staff, therefore expanding services. Current staff includes two physicians and two nurse practitioners.

The Dickson County Health Department has two area facilities. DCC staff will join state staff at the Dickson Health Department clinic at 301 West End Avenue clinic. The county health department also operates a clinic in White Bluff at 200 School Road. Currently, the hours for both clinics are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Individuals wishing to make an appointment are asked to contact the Health Department in Dickson at (615) 446-2839 or in White Bluff at (615) 797-5056.

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