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Two Rivers Health Clinic officially opens permanent facility
Two Rivers Ribbon Cutting 1
Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter (front, fourth from left) celebrates with staff and board members at the ribbon cutting for the Two Rivers Health Clinic on June 1. (Photos by Barbara Augsdorfer/Effingham Herald.)

By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald

Two Rivers Health Clinic cut the ribbon and officially opened June 1 in its own permanent location at 711 Zittrouer Dr., Rincon.

Congressional Rep. Buddy Carter was on hand to share remarks.

The clinic, which has been serving uninsured and underinsured adults in Effingham County since 2015, now has a permanent home within the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Effingham Service Center.

Carter at Two Rivers opening
Rep. Buddy Carter addresses the crowd of board members, volunteers, and staff at the opening of the Two Rivers Health Clinic on June 1.
“Regardless of what side of the aisle you may be on, all of us want the same thing. We want affordable, accessible, quality health care for everyone,” said Rep. Carter (GA-1). “And that's one of the things that we've tried to focus on in Congress is making sure that, that facilities like this are able to prosper (and) are able to provide services that are needed in our community.”

The ribbon cutting at the permanent location was the result of a total group and community effort, according to Dr. Amber Fordham, the facility’s program coordinator.

“We rely a lot on our community partners that we work with throughout the community. And our goal is really to provide quality, comprehensive health care for the most vulnerable people in our population and in our in our county,” Fordham said.

When Two Rivers Health Clinic first moved into the United Way building in Rincon in March, the rooms were bare. Now they are nearly all furnished with exam tables, lab equipment, waiting-room furniture and office furniture, all donated by Effingham Health, community members, local churches, community organizations, and people who contributed via the GoFundMe account or their Amazon wish list.

The clinic serves Effingham County residents age 18-64, who have no insurance, or are underinsured, and whose income is at or below federal poverty guidelines.

Two Rivers Ribbon Cutting 2
Celebrating the official opening of the Two Rivers Health Clinic are, from left: Rep. Buddy Carter, Dr. Frances Decker, Vicki Renfroe, RN; and Dr. Amber Fordham, executive director of Two Rivers Health Clinic.
“We decided to concentrate on individuals with chronic health conditions because they have had them for a while and they were not being treated,” said Dr. Frances Decker, one of Two Rivers’ volunteer physicians. “And those conditions don't get better if left untreated. We're talking about high blood pressure, diabetes, (and) chronic lung disease.”

While the clinic focuses solely on uninsured adults under 65, it relies on community partnerships to make people aware of its services and to keep it sustainable.

“We're working more closely now than in the past to try and coordinate services with the hospital,” Dr. Decker continued. “We're partnering with ParaMed services, who provide ambulance-based calls on recently discharged and vulnerable patients, and they've made some referrals to us, which we appreciate.”

Dr. Decker added the clinic partners with Savannah State and Georgia Southern to place some of their interns in the clinic.

The clinic is open the second Thursday of each month from 1-4 p.m.; and the fourth Thursday of each month from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The clinic saw five patients on May 25.

While that may not sound like much, Dr. Fordham said patients that come to the clinic know that have a home for their health care – one less thing for the patients to worry about.

Two Rivers Health Clinic reports that in 2022 it offered clinic visits with a value of $20,350. Along with partnerships that offered telemed, prescriptions, labs, and specialist referrals, the clinic offered more than $133,000 worth of services to its patients.

According to Dr. Fordham, they usually see eight or nine patients each day they’re open. She said that with their new permanent location, they hope to be open more days and hours and offer more services as their patients need or request them.

For more information about the clinic, to volunteer, or to donate, call 912-527-4984, or click on its website at