To address the shortage of pediatric physicians in Muscogee County and surrounding areas, Peach State Health Plan (Peach State) today announced a $100,000 donation to Columbus Regional Healthcare System and The Medical Center at a press conference at The Medical Center. The funds will be used to help establish a medical practice that will increase access to primary and pediatric care, primarily for those enrolled in the Medicaid program in the Columbus area.
“The limited access caused by the lack of pediatric physicians in the area can escalate chronic medical conditions into acute, emergency situations that result in unnecessary, costly strains on emergency departments,” says Dr. Dean Greeson, VP, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Director at Peach State. “Peach State is uniquely positioned to step up and play a proactive role in providing Muscogee-area children greater access to health care services.”
The new practice – projected to open in spring of 2011 – will be on Columbus Regional’s main campus, which is centrally located and on city bus routes. The site is positioned near various specialists and ancillary care sites, including OB/GYN and diagnostic imaging.
“Considering the central location of the Columbus Regional campus, the practice is projected to accommodate approximately 23,000 annual patient visits by the third year of operation,” says Mike Hill, CEO of Evergreen Medical Group, a physician-hospital organization jointly owned by Columbus Regional and community physician partners. “Peach State’s donation will have a positive and lasting effect on Muscogee County and make a real difference to our region’s children and caregivers.”
Columbus Regional will recruit one physician and two mid-level pediatric-care providers. Plans are to recruit either a family practice physician with interest in newborns or a pediatrician. By not limiting the scope of the physician recruitment, the practice will be better positioned to meet the needs of the Muscogee County pediatric population as quickly as possible.
“Establishing a new medical practice open to patients who rely on Medicaid is among the most viable and expedient solutions to address pediatric care in the Muscogee County region,” says Patrick Healy, CEO of Peach State. “Peach State is committed to investing in the communities we serve, and this donation is a testament to our give-back philosophy.”
About Peach State Health Plan
Peach State Health Plan (Peach State) is a Care Management Organization that serves the Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids ™population in partnership with Georgia Families. Peach State is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services. Information regarding Peach State is available via the Internet at www.pshp.com.
About Columbus Regional Healthcare System
Columbus Regionalis a not-for-profit organization providing health, medical and educational services to west Georgia and east Alabama. Facilities and services include The Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Hughston Hospital in Columbus and the John B. Amos Cancer Center. Columbus Regional has the region’s only advanced maternity services and neonatal intensive care unit, a dedicated pediatric service and pediatric critical care unit, a dedicated trauma center and highly regarded emergency services for children and adults. Information is available at www.yourhealthourmission.com.
About Evergreen Medical Group
Evergreen Medical Group is a physician-hospital organization jointly owned by Columbus Regional and community physician partners. Evergreen contracts with payors on behalf of community physicians and Columbus Regional facilities and services. Information is available at www.evergreenmedicalgroup.com.