LaFayette OnMed telehealth station clinic opening soon

Published 8:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2023

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On March 1, the Chambers County Community Health and Wellness clinic will host a vaccine day with Alabama Pharmacy students and faculty from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

After getting a COVID-19 booster shot, citizens can stay for a demonstration in the OnMed telehealth station. Auburn University, Chambers County Commission and the city of LaFayette partnered for the project.

After nearly a month of demonstrations, LaFayette’s OnMed Telehealth station will be open to patient visits in the next few weeks. When the station opens for medical visits, it will be free for the first 60 days. After that, there will be a flat rate fee of $45 regardless of insurance. 

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The station has been open to demonstrations for the public since the beginning of February. The demos will continue even after the station opens. The clinic is open from 7 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. on weekdays. 

“As long as there’s a car in the parking lot, you can come on in,” said Chambers County Extension Coordinator Rachel Snoddy.

The virtual clinicians can see patients from two-years-old and up. The service is on-demand, so patients don’t have to make an appointment. Clinicians usually address acute care needs like respiratory illnesses, allergies, headaches, heartburn and infection. The station will give citizens the opportunity to receive resources relevant to their needs. 

“We want to address those needs,” said Outreach Coordinator Dr. Linda Gibson-Young. 

If a patient needs additional care, they can provide referrals to patients for immunizations, labs, routine cancer screenings, mental health, substance abuse, chronic conditions and more complex care plans. 

Clinicians can also provide e-prescriptions for necessary medications that can be filled at the local pharmacy. Eventually, the station may have the capacity to dispense over 200 common non-control substances and over-the-counter medications.

Soon, the clinic space will also be staffed with faculty and students from Auburn University as well. Nursing students will be able to give exams, while pharmacy students may be able to talk about medications.

“We will be having live faculty and students coming to do various screenings and vaccinations and exams that will be different throughout the week,” Snoddy said.

Though Auburn University is one of the partners to facilitate the project, Snoddy said that other partnerships could appear down the road. The project’s focus is on providing services to a rural community that doesn’t have immediate access to medical options.

“We’re open to partnering with people who want to use the space. We just want to get services here to the citizens of LaFayette and Chambers County out in this sort of rural transportation issue area,” Snoddy said. 

When the patient enters the station, all they have to do is tap the touch screen to start. A CNA will appear on the screen to go through all the patient’s medical history with them. Then, the clinician will walk them through checking their vitals and make a diagnosis. 

“You don’t have to fill out paperwork,” Snoddy said. “You don’t have to be tech savvy.”

Eventually, there will be a hearing booth installed in the back of the clinic as well.

As the project nears completion, Gibson-Young said they want the feedback of the community about the project. Those who visit the clinic can fill out the form or use the link to provide feedback.