A rural health clinic affiliated with Clemson University has opened a location in Orangeburg.
Clemson Rural Health opened the Clemson Health Clinic in Orangeburg at 1181 Hutto St. near the Regional Medical Center to provide primary care and chronic disease prevention and management.
“Our hope is that we can support existing care that is here to be able to work with the county council with the county government and others to help meet the needs,” said Clemson Director of Rural Health Dr. Ron Gimbel, during the January 23 meeting of the Calhoun County Board. . “We exist to improve health equity and outcomes.
“We want to be out here. We want to help people,” Gimbel said.
The clinic, which opened on January 9, is open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 16:30. It is closed from 12:00 to 13:00.
The clinic will primarily serve residents of Orangeburg, Bamberg, Barnwell and Calhoun counties with in-person appointments, telehealth and remote patient monitoring.
Led by nurse Donna Atkinson, a certified specialist in diabetes care and education in the region, the clinic will have a strong focus on the prevention and management of chronic diseases, according to a news release from the clinic.
The clinic will be staffed by a multidisciplinary staff including nurses, dieticians, social workers, community health workers, health educators, nurses, research and administrative staff, in collaboration with collaborating physicians.
The hub includes a physical clinic, mobile health units, a prescription program, nutrition and cooking classes.
Gimbel said Clemson Health Clinic in Orangeburg is working with the Regional Medical Center to provide complementary services for the hospital and to accept referrals from physicians.
Gimbel said the Orangeburg clinic will serve as a hub for Orangeburg, Calhoun, Bamberg and Barnwell counties.
In Orangeburg, the clinic will have two mobile health units that will come to Calhoun County and other counties once a week and provide services to the community. Gimbel said CRH is finalizing its weekly mobile unit outreach programs and will make them public once finalized.
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“We have a Sprinter sized mobile health unit (single exam room) which will operate from the clinic now…and within a couple of weeks our newest large mobile health unit (two exam rooms) it will also work from the clinic,” Gibel said.
The physical clinic and mobile health units will have a total of 10 staff members.
“The idea is to bring assistance to people,” Gimbel said, noting that many people find it difficult to get to a hospital or doctor to get primary care.
CRH will also partner with RMC’s mobile units in providing services, Gimbel said.
CRH is a Clemson University initiative that aims to provide health care to rural and underserved communities and reduce premature deaths, unnecessary hospitalizations, and improve health and well-being.
In addition to the clinic and mobile units, Gimbel said CRH wants to expand its network Best Chance, a federal program that provides low-income women for breast cancer and surgery screening, as well as Wise Woman, a program for screening and cardiovascular education.
in the WISE (well-integrated Stskimming and Andrating for WOMANin Across the Noation), women will be able to receive an education on healthy habits.
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Gimbel says CRH wants to be a one-stop shop for women to get all of their yearly exams and is also working on its new Regional Integrated Diabetes Program for Women to help women with high blood pressure and diabetes.
The organization also has a new remote patient monitoring and virtual assistance program that helps better monitor women’s health care needs from their own homes.
Ultimately, Gimbel said the goal is also to provide students at South Carolina State University, Claflin University and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College with clinical internships to encourage them to stay in rural health care settings.
For more information about the Clemson Health Clinic of Orangeburg, call 803-516-4227. The clinic can also be contacted at [email protected]