RINCON — Two Rivers Health Clinic needs help to help more people. The facility, which has offered free care to qualified patients since 2015, wants to treat more patients.
“In order to see more patients, we’ve got to have physicians,” said Jacoby Jones, the clinic’s program coordinator. “That can be MDs, nurse practitioners or physician assistants. That’s our biggest (need).”
Two Rivers Health Clinic, located at 1214 N. Columbia Ave. in Dr. Jack Heneisen’s office, currently has two volunteer physicians. Its medical team is comprised completely of volunteers.
“Only one of (the doctors) is at every clinic (session) and that’s where the problem lies,” Jones said. “We’ve got to have more physicians or ‘extenders,’ and by ‘extenders’ I mean nurse practioners or physician assistants.”
The clinic operates every second and fourth Thursday of the month, starting at 5:30 p.m.
“The closing time depends on patient volume,” Jones said. “Closing time is usually around 8:30 p.m. but it depends on patient volume. Sometimes we are out by six or seven o’clock.”
Two Rivers Health Clinic closed in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened in June but wasn’t accepting new patients.
“The need for more physicians is going come once the word gets out that we are now accepting new patients,” Jones said.
Jones said the clinic serves 40 qualified patients between the ages of 18 and 64.
“They have to be an Effingham County resident and there are certain financial requirements,” he said. “Qualification is determined by a scale of how much money you bring in (every month).”
Jones said Two Rivers Health Clinic volunteers will gladly help interested parties learn if they qualify for free treatment. They can be reached at 912-527-4884.
“Our intake person would let (prospective patients) know what paperwork they need to bring in and let them know if they are qualified to be seen or not,” he said.
The clinic has a case management intern.
“We are looking at expanding a little bit to do some case management to help set up patients with other resources,” Jones said. “Here again, it goes beyond health sometimes. There can be other determinants of life that are causing them to be sick.”
The clinic hopes to kick off a series of programs next year to combat obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other health problems.
“We’re moving in an upward direction,” Jones said. “We are finally stable but we are seeing a lot of our same patients. ... Our patients love the clinic.”