State Presents Maury County $1 Million in Safety Net Funds for New Health Department Facility

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | 07:00pm

Columbia, June 28, 2006

Today, on behalf of Governor Phil Bredesen, Health Commissioner Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D., presented Maury County Mayor James L. Bailey, Jr., $1 million in Safety Net funds to assist with the construction of a new Maury County Health Department facility. Commissioner Robinson was joined by Tennessee Department of Health South Central Regional Director Suellen Joyner and other Maury County and state government officials. The new health department location on Highway 412 at the Highway 43 exchange in Columbia is scheduled to be complete in early 2007.

“By committing these financial resources to Maury County, the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee General Assembly have ensured this community will now have greater access to primary care services,” said Governor Bredesen. “Safety net investments like this are important in making sure those who need basic health services have them. I’m pleased the State and Legislature were able to work together to provide this important investment in Maury County.”

Earlier this month, Governor Bredesen also signed the Cover Tennessee Act, which includes initiatives to extend health coverage to uninsured children and chronically ill adults and creates a low-cost insurance program for uninsured working Tennesseans.

In May 2005, Governor Bredesen proposed $1 million in Healthcare Safety Net funding for a new facility for the Maury County Health Department. The funding, which was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly, will assist in the addition of primary care services for local residents currently without health insurance.

“Maury County residents are going to have a brand new, fully-equipped health department where they can receive all the traditional public health services, plus primary medical care for uninsured adults,” said Maury County Mayor James L. Bailey, Jr. “We are committed to providing access to top quality public health services for Maury Countians, and greatly appreciate the state’s participation in making this happen. The additional $1 million of state funding enables us to expand this project beyond the initial plans and offer a broader array of services.”

The new health department building will allow additional space for primary care services, as well as preventive health services. Once complete, it will include 20 examination rooms and employ approximately 45 staff members. The cost for the 27,000 square foot facility, including construction, equipment and furnishings, totals more than $4.8 million.

“Through Cover Tennessee, the State is making significant progress in addressing the issue of working uninsured individuals,” said Commissioner Robinson. “We also must continue to make Safety Net investments that increase access to primary care services for all uninsured Tennesseans.”

Currently, the Maury County Health Department located at 100 Blythewood Drive, in Columbia, offers the following services: immunizations, well child/EPSDT screenings, WIC and nutrition services, birth and death certificates, children’s special services care coordination, breast and cervical cancer screening, family planning, HIV testing and counseling, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, and communicable disease control. Beginning July 3, basic primary care services for uninsured adults will be offered at a separate facility located at 820 Hatcher Lane. Costs for these services will be determined by a sliding fee scale based on income, with a $5 minimum fee for each visit. This fee will be in addition to the charges for any drugs or supplies dispensed during the visit.

“In early 2007, both the current health department and the Primary Care Unit will move into the new building on Highway 412,” said South Central Regional Health Director Suellen Joyner. “We are eagerly awaiting the project’s completion so that all health department services can be provided in one location and so we can better serve the residents of Maury and surrounding counties.”

The Maury County Health Department will provide primary care services at 820 Hatcher Lane starting July 3, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The location at 100 Blythewood Drive will continue to provide all other health department services. To receive services, individuals must make an appointment in advance. To make an appointment at either the Maury County Health Department or the Primary Care Unit or for more information, individuals should call (931) 388-5757.

In the fall of 2005, the Department of Health began offering new or expanded adult primary care services to uninsured residents of Tennessee in an effort to strengthen the state’s health care safety net.

Note: Photos from the event will be available upon request.

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