By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) recognized the week of August 4 through the 10 as National Health Center Week. As a result, along with Managed Care Organization (MCO) and AmeriHealth Caritas, they set out to help local health care providers set up a patient appreciation event. St. George Medical Clinic was one of three in the state of West Virginia to receive $5,000 to help put on such an event, which SGMC did with a bang!
As you approached the festivities, employees were signing visitors in and signing them up to participate in the raffles and give away items. Prizes included a kayak, Yeti coolers and tumblers, folding stadium chairs and rockers, too. Over 200 patrons visited the event that was held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 8 at the clinic said Houston Walton, Outreach and Case Manager for SGMC for the past year.
Once you signed the register, you could take advantage of several free food options including Kiwanis corndogs, MR Pizza, cotton candy, Nonnies Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls, Shade Tree Smoothies and More, Gobs and Gobs of Kabobs, and Macie Lou’s Gourmet Apples. Music played in the background and numerous adults chatted in the shade of the tents while the kids caught up with friends they haven’t seen much over the summer.
In his twelfth year as Executive Director, Paul Wamsley explained the history the clinic has in our rural town. He noted the main clinic opened in 1979 with the school base clinic location opening in 2014 and the dental facility in 2015. Fast forward to today, they offer primary care services, dermatology every Friday, X-Rays at the main clinic, Dr. Pavlovich and Dr. Topping are offering orthopedic services twice a month, Mon General Cardiology from Elkins provides services monthly, behavioral health, dental serves and beginning this month the Hunt’s from Dr. Trupo’s office will be offering optometry every Thursday and every other Saturday.
When asked how many patients SGMC served, Wamsley quickly stated, “4,725 patients in over 26,000 visits in the last year.” He informed a new addition is in the works as well and scheduled to be delivered the first week of October and will serve as a Special Services Building. “Tentatively we’d like to be in the new building the first week of December,” he said, though weather will play a factor on construction. Not only does the clinic serve to several local individuals, but they also currently employ 46 people.
The tents were filled with those who appreciate having so many services available to save the travel to outside facilities. There was music, free food, and camaraderie. Diane Nestor said, “Everyone is having a great time.” The winners of the prizes included the following: kayak winner Pauletta Ramsey, the Yeti cooler winner was Carrie Leary, Courtney White won the Yeti bag, Markus Young won the stadium rocker chairs, the winner of the Yeti tumblers were Lois Lambert and Reece Lambruno, and Angie Davis won a set of stadium chairs.