|By Ron Maxey, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Through a partnership with Baptist and boosted by a
Officials from the two health care organizations came together at the site Friday afternoon, along with state and local elected officials and plenty of well-wishers, to cut the ribbon on the new clinic. It's expected to take its place among a network of such clinics statewide that provide health services for those in need under the umbrella of the
"This is a shining example of how two disparate provider organizations can come together and increase access to care to those who need it most," said
Statewide, Pugh said 21 organizations such as Northeast Mississippi Health Care, through 175 delivery sites, provide health care services to more than 300,000 Mississippians annually.
He said of those served, 40 percent are uninsured and another 30 percent are on
"That's why you're so valuable to the health care infrastructure of the state," he said.
"The feeling was that DeSoto was an affluent county that didn't have a need for these services," Huffman said, adding that a subsequent study found there was actually a great need.
Elected officials at Friday's ceremony also lauded the partnership for filling a noticeable gap in the health care needs of the community.
"Anyone knows that health care is one of the top priorities for any community," said
"I've seen programs that are a waste, and I've seen programs that are a fine expenditure of tax money," Wicker said, "and I support community health centers because they work."
A representative of Rep.
Those who toured the clinic, an existing building that formerly housed other Baptist services, said they didn't expect it would take long for the clinic to begin filling a need in the community.
"Once word gets out, this clinic will be an asset for the community," said
"It's important for those in need of medical attention to have convenient access points to primary health care; this clinic will help to serve that purpose."
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