This summer, we went to visit a borrower hard at work caring for their community. We stopped by Georgetown Pediatric Clinic, a member of the St. James-Santee Family Health Center in Georgetown, SC. The team was kind enough to make time for us and chat about what it takes to provide healthcare to a rural population.

  1. Tell us a bit about your practice.

The practice was purchased in 2015. The clinic has three physicians on staff and sees 6,000 patients per year.

  1. What does this practice mean to the community?

The clinic is a staple of the community! After purchasing the practice, there was no disruption in services to the community, and we worked to keep everything the same for the sake of the patients’ comfort. It’s just part of meeting the needs of a rural community.

  1. What are the needs of a rural community? How are you meeting them?

Challenges for rural, low-income communities include lack of transportation, hours of operation (some parents can’t take time off work) and the distance and costs associated with accessing specialists. We’ve extended our weekday hours to 7 pm, and we are open Saturdays and most holidays. This helps reduce instances of using the Emergency Room for after-hours care, which is costly.

  1. Tell us about how you’re using Telehealth to serve your patients.

We’re using Telehealth to connect remotely with doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. We’re able to access child mental health services, a sickle cell anemia clinic, orthopedics, and nutritionists as well. Families love being able to use this service. Otherwise, they would be driving to Charleston to access these services.

  1. How do you get the word out about your services in a rural community?

Outreach is very grassroots based in rural communities. We rely heavily on word of mouth, and on the area schools to help spread the word about public events we hold.

 

Thank you for sharing your time with us, Georgetown Pediatric Clinic! Learn more about community facilities financing here. Catch up on past borrower Q&A’s here.