Local News


County clinic to offer health assessment

By GORDON JACKSON The Brunswick News

A new health clinic designed to meet many of the primary health care needs of Glynn County employees opened for business Wednesday at Office Park on Gloucester Street in downtown Brunswick.

The clinic will play an important role in the county's new employee wellness plan.

The clinic staff includes a nurse practitioner, a medical assistant and a wellness coach.

Orah Reed, the county's Human Resources Department director, said county employees renovated the office space, adding walls, a fresh coat of paint, new doors and locks and other improvements. She estimated the cost at about $24,000 to renovate the vacant office space and transform it into a clinic.

Most of the equipment in the clinic is the same as seen in a typical doctor's office.

The clinic, which had five appointments on its first day, enables the county to implement its new employee wellness plan, which requires everyone on county health insurance to take a physical to determine overall health.

Employees will be screened for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and glucose.

Those who refuse to participate in the program will be required to pay an additional $80 a month for county health insurance.

Employees who tests determine they are at risk will be given coaching to ensure they follow through on weight loss, medications and smoking cessation, as well as any other recommendations given them to improve health.

"It's a lifestyle mediation," Reed said. "It's participating with the provider."

Reed said the clinic will not provide any type of treatment given by a specialist.

"Basic primary care is what we're trying to meet," she said. "It's a pretty comprehensive clinic."

One feature that should appeal to employees will be not having to wait to see a nurse or physician's assistant when they arrive for their appointments.

And if they are on the county health plan, they won't have to plunk out a co-payment for their visit.

Employees who are not on the county health plan are allowed to visit the clinic but will be charged a $20 co-pay for each visit.

The county has about 750 employees, 665 of whom are on county health insurance, Reed said.

The county will pay about $40 a month for each employee eligible to seek health care at the clinic, which Reed said is a good investment based on what they've been told by other employers who have created similar programs.

"This has been proven and demonstrated," she said. "We're not just anticipating (savings), we're expecting it. We should see a 3 to 1 return on the investment."

The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with an hour off for lunch.