AUTHOR: MARTY

HED: After-hours medical clinic opens in Fulton

By Marty Russell

Daily Journal

FULTON - The Gilmore-Fulton Family Medical Center began seeing its first patients this week when the new community health center established by a partnership between an Amory hospital and local development officials officially opened its doors Monday.

The clinic is located in the former Itawamba County Development Council building on Hospital Road. It will offer primary care, occupational medicine and X-ray and laboratory services. The clinic will be staffed by Dr. Francis Fidei of Houston until May, when Dr. Tim Weisbord of Quebec, Canada, will take over as the full-time doctor.

The clinic came about as the result of a study conducted by the ICDC in 1995 to determine the most pressing needs in the community.

"Through this research we found out that the foremost concern among our residents was the lack of medical care available after hours," said Butch Gaddy, who was president of the ICDC when the survey took place.

The clinic's hours will be from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon until 6 p.m. on Sundays.

"We'll have a part-time physician coming on the weekends," said Robert Letson, administrator of Gilmore Memorial. "Dr. Fidei will come in Monday through Friday and we'll have another physician on the weekends."

Letson said staffing would be kept at that level initially until it is determined whether additional medical staff are needed.

"We hope it will be busy enough that we have to recruit another doctor," he said.

Gilmore Memorial, located in Amory, was approached by the ICDC to operate the clinic and agreed to provide the services under an agreement with the city and county. Under the agreement, Fulton put up $15,000 while the county board of supervisors agreed to spend $30,000 toward the total project cost of $60,000 to renovate and equip the former ICDC building.

The ICDC offices have since moved to another location.

In addition to financial support from the community, a 12-member citizens advisory board has been formed to provide input to Gilmore Memorial officials on health-care needs in the community.

The opening of the Fulton clinic marks the third primary care facility to be operated by Gilmore Memorial. The hospital also operates clinics in Aberdeen and Okolona.

A grand opening for the new Fulton clinic is scheduled from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday.

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