State Presents Sumner County $311,000 In Safety Net Funds For New Health Department Facility

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 | 06:00pm

Today, on behalf of Governor Phil Bredesen, Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN, presented Sumner County Executive R.J. “Hank” Thompson $311,000 in Safety Net funds to assist with the building of a new facility for the Sumner County Health Department.  Commissioner Cooper was joined by Sumner County Health Department Director Mary Howard Hayes, Portland Mayor Kenneth Wilber and other county and state government officials. The new Health Department clinic will be located in Portland.  

“Safety net investments like this are essential in making sure those who need basic health services have them,” said Governor Bredesen.  “By committing these financial resources to Sumner County, the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee General Assembly have ensured the residents of this community will now have greater access to primary care services.”

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.  In June 2006, Governor Bredesen 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.    

“Through programs like Cover Tennessee and continued investments in the State’s health care safety net, the State is working diligently to meet the basic health care needs of working uninsured citizens of Tennessee,” said Commissioner Cooper.
“We will continue to focus our efforts to increase access to primary care services for all uninsured Tennesseans.”   

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand into the Portland community,” said Sumner County Health Director Mary Howard Hayes.  “With our rapidly growing population, having three Health Department sites throughout the county allows us to bring services closer to those whom we serve.” 

The Sumner County Health Department currently has two locations:  the main office in Gallatin and a clinic in Hendersonville.  These locations offer a variety of services including primary care; immunizations; well child/EPSDT screenings; WIC and nutrition services; birth and death certificates; breast and cervical cancer screening; family planning; testing, counseling and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases; and communicable disease control.  Last year, the Sumner County Health Department provided care for nearly 6,000 adult primary care visits and more than 22,000 other visits.  Currently almost one third of the patients seeking services from the Sumner County Health Department are from the Portland area.  The new Portland clinic will offer a full array of traditional public health services as well as primary care. 

“We are really pleased to have this new health facility in that part of the county,” said Sumner County Executive R.J. “Hank” Thompson.  “We have a growing county and this clinic is very much needed and long awaited.  Portland is very deserving and we’re pleased to work with the state to help people in that part of the county.” 

“We are very excited about the coming addition of this new Health Department clinic,” said Portland Mayor Kenneth Wilber.  “It’s going to be a great asset to Portland and to all of upper Sumner County.  We really appreciate the Sumner County Health Department, the County Commission, County Executive and the state for making it possible.”

The Sumner County Health Department location at 1105 Union School Road in Gallatin is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. through 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  To make an appointment or for more information, individuals should call (615) 206-1100.  The Hendersonville Clinic at 351 New Shackle Island Road is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.  To make an appointment for this location, individuals may call (615) 824-0552.

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