Despite the recent cutback of 12 jobs at Oconee Regional Medical Center, hospital and Navicent Health officials are forging ahead with plans to open a new medical clinic near Lake Sinclair this summer.
The new clinic, which will be known as Lake Center Health, is the first official community project since ORMC and Navicent Health became partners less than a year ago. Navicent Health of Macon actually manages the local hospital.
Lake Center Health, located at 2803 North Columbia St., is in the new shopping center with several other new businesses, adjacent the Kroger grocery store.
Construction completion is expected in May.
In a press release about the new health clinic earlier this year, ORMC and Oconee Healthcare System’s President and Chief Executive Officer Jean Aycock said ORMC and Navicent Health had formed the partnership in order to provide for residents of Milledgeville and Baldwin County, as well as surrounding counties.
The partnership focuses on enhancing outpatient services and access to the community, seamless coordination of care across specialties, and diagnoses, as well as confidence for patients that quality care and value is paramount in the joint venture for the patients who will be served there.
“Our partnership has allowed us to combine resources in an effort to provide our community with enhanced health care services along the continuum of care, allowing our local residents to remain close to home when they are in need of health care,” Aycock said.
Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, president and chief executive officer of Navicent Health, said through a press release that the primary goal of the partnership with ORMC was to improve the value of health care for patients, as well as providers and payers.
“We are excited about the benefits that we, and our patients have already seen, and look forward to continuing to explore new opportunities,” Saunders said.
Less than a week ago, eight fulltime and four part-time positions, all non-clinical, were abolished at ORMC. The elimination of those jobs is among one of many ways hospital officials are trying to save money.
“We’re trying to make (financial) adjustments in the way we deliver service,” said ORMC Board Chairman David Groseclose. “That’s why we’re opening Lake Center Health.”
He explained that the new clinic would be an outpatient facility, and treat persons for assorted medical problems without the need to travel to the hospital for care.
Groseclose pointed out that ORMC still would be available to patients with more serious or critical injuries.
“Over time, we and all other health care organizations are going to have to transition a lot of our efforts toward outpatient care, as opposed to pure traditional hospital stays,” Groseclose said. “It looks real nice inside.”
Gloseclose said hospital and Navicent Health officials still are working out some of the details regarding some of the medical and clinical type personnel that will actually be working there.