To address the shortage of pediatric physicians in Muscogee County and surrounding areas, Peach State Health Plan (Peach State) announced Wednesday a $100,000 donation to Columbus Regional Healthcare System and 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, according to a media release.
“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,” Dr. Dean Greeson, VP, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Director at Peach State, said in a statement.
“Peach State is uniquely positioned to step up and play a proactive role in providing Muscogee-area children greater access to health care services.”
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The new practice – projected to open this spring – will be on Columbus Regional’s main campus.
“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,” Mike Hill, CEO of Evergreen Medical Group, a physician-hospital organization jointly owned by Columbus Regional and community physician partners, said in a statement.
“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.