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Hayneville Family Health Center opens

From left, on-site dentist Dr. Wanda Gibson-Fyall and on-site physician Dr. George Thomas show off one of the dental rooms in the new Hayneville Family Health Center. Gibson-Fyall is dental director for Health Services Inc. (HSI), which owns the facility, and Thomas is assistant medical director for rural services for HSI. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to mark the completion of construction Monday and the public was allowed to see the inside of the new facility and enjoy refreshments.

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The completion of construction of the new Hayneville Family Health Center was marked with a ribbon cutting and open house for the public Wednesday morning.

The facility is owned by Health Services Inc. (HSI) and was funded by $924,500 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Resources and Services Administration funds and $101,500 in local funding, according to HSI.

The mission statement of HSI states, “HSI seeks to improve access to primary health care services, making them affordable, to the underinsured and uninsured, in order to enhance the quality of life for the community.”

“Oh, I think it is wonderful that we finally have a health services building,” said Hayneville Mayor Helenor Bell.

The facility will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and will begin accepting patients on Monday, July 18, according to Rebecca Crawford, an administrative assistant at HSI.

“We are just hoping that later on the hours will be extended. So, it’s good for the citizens, and it’s good for Lowndes County,” said Bell.

“We’re excited about it. It’s going to help our people,” said Lowndes County Commission Chairman Charlie King Jr.

He said with the facility in Hayneville, Lowndes County residents would no longer be dependent upon people taking them to Montgomery.

Dr. George Thomas, who will serve as on-site physician in Hayneville and who serves as assistant medical director of rural services for HSI, said, “I think it is a step forward for the county. It’s allowing more people to come in where we can see more patients. Plus, also we’re adding a dentist.”

Thomas said dental care was a need for Lowndes County residents. He also said the new facility is built for electronic records in the future that will help improve the care patients receive.

Dr. Wanda Gibson-Fyall, who will serve as on-site dentist in Hayneville part-time and who serves as dental director for HSI, said, “Oh it’s an outstanding addition to the county and well worth it. And we’re here to serve our patients and provide them the best care we can.”

Dr. Julian McIntyre, chief medical officer for HSI, said Thomas has served the community for about 20 years. He called Thomas “dedicated” and “loyal to the community.”

McIntyre said that one was reason for a better facility in Hayneville “to make sure we can serve the people who needed to be served and serve them in a nice place. You know they deserve a very state-of-the-art facility to come to.”

Lynn Beshear, director of Envision 2020, a community-driven strategic planning effort involving citizens and leaders in Lowndes, Autauga, Elmore, Macon and Montgomery counties, said the need for the new facility was a result of an Envision 2020 study.

On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday were King, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean, Mosses Mayor Walter Hill, Fort Deposit Mayor Fletcher Fountain, Hayneville Mayor Helenor Bell and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

Also on hand were Dr. R. Bob Mullins Jr., Medicaid commissioner for the state of Alabama, Ziba Anderson, assistant Area Nine administrator for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bernell Mapp, CEO of HSI. and James Brown, SO. board member.

The new 5,900 square foot facility features 12 examining rooms and a dental suite with a capacity of 80 patients per day, according to HSI. It is located on two acres of land donated by the Lowndes County Commission and the Lowndes County Health Department.

“We are extremely proud of the new health center and of our collaborative partners that have this dream a reality,” said Mapp.