LaFayette to request bids for OnMed facility

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, June 23, 2022

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At a special called meeting on Tuesday, the LaFayette City Council authorized City Clerk Louis Davidson to request bids for the renovation of a property located at 404 9th Avenue SW, which will be used to house an OnMed kiosk. Through the kiosk, people will be able to talk to doctors at a distance, get prescriptions and have their vitals taken.

“You go inside the kiosk, and then a doctor will appear on the screen,” LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines said in an interview.

Once inside the kiosk, a patient will not be visible from the outside, allowing privacy.

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The building the kiosk will be in used to be a doctor’s office. Vines said the lobby and a portion of the building in the back will be used for OnMed. He said the city currently has no plans for how the rest of the building will be used. Auburn University nursing students will work there.

Vines said that hopefully the project will be done by the end of the year, but it could take longer.

“We’re looking forward to getting it up and going,” he said.

At a previous meeting, it was said that the two-year pilot program is expected to cost $250,000 per year. Vines said the Auburn University, Chambers County and the City of LaFayette are funding the project. More money may come from grants.

The OnMed project is a part of a larger plan. In August of last year, the LaFayette City Council voted to pass an agreement with Auburn University for its Rural Health Project that would provide better health coverage for citizens of LaFayette and Chambers County.

At that meeting, Outreach and Public Service Assistant Vice President Hollie Cost of Auburn University said that along with providing more medical outreach, the Rural Health project will teach health education.

“We have 23 different faculty members at Auburn University [that will be working with the project],” Cost had said. “They’re going to have kinesiology students working on health initiatives with local children and adults in the community. They’ll be able to do diabetes education, have pharmacy and nursing students and social work individuals here as well. What we want to do is work strongly with your community, and we’re willing to put a lot of skin in the game.”

At a different meeting, City Attorney Joseph (Mac) Tucker explained the City of LaFayette’s role in the project.

“The city’s going to keep someone on the commission,” he had said. “They will provide the whole facility — that’s the building — assist in the development and execution of publicity and marketing efforts, provide ongoing security for the whole site (which includes regular police patrols, not necessarily having somebody there), provide insurance for the host building (which we already have), pay building utility fees including water, power and natural gas, provide ongoing janitorial and extermination services and maintain communication with the commission.”