Health and Wellness Center gives year report

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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The Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center (CCCHWC) has been in operation for a little over a year now. On Monday night, they gave an update on the growth of the center to the county commission. 

Dr. Holly Cost, Auburn University’s Assistant Vice President of University Outreach and Public Service, and Rachael Snoddy, the County’s extension coordinator, presented two reports on the center itself and the telehealth OnMed station within the center. 

The station is the highest-performing OnMed station in the country. On Monday alone, the OnMed station saw nine patients and has already seen over 100 in the month of February. 

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“[OnMed] has had 592 patients, but we also have at least 300 different demonstrations. That is people coming in participating in the station so that they can learn how to use and become more familiar with it. That’s how I think we’ve been able to get the traffic we’ve gotten,” Cost said.

Those patients have received 720 prescriptions, which are filled at local pharmacies, Cost added. 

“While we have the telehealth station that does primary care but that really doesn’t meet all of the needs. So we’re focusing on not just treating illness, but on prevention, follow-up care and community health and wellness education,” Cost said. 

Almost 200 faculty, staff, and students involved in the Rural Health Initiative through Auburn University have participated in the center’s events. The center hosts various programs and events for the community including tours and open houses attended by 560 people over since opening.

“Based on the success of what’s going on here in Chambers County, other people want what you have. That was our mission from the beginning, we wanted to establish this as a pilot project,” Cost said. 

The Initiative has gotten over three million dollars in grant funding, which Cost said was in large part due to the success of the center in Chambers County. The funding will provide programs in 14 other communities. It will look different in the communities, with Chambers County still the only center to have a telehealth station and telehealth cart through Auburn. East Alabama Medical Center and ten other locations around the state, will also be receiving a telehealth cart. 

Snoddy explained that the cart in CCCHWC will be installed this year.

“We’ll be able to offer care providers from East Alabama health, mental health from Auburn University Counseling, as well as substance abuse counseling from UAB Beacon,” Snoddy said. “So that’s bringing in some state partners, and more local partners to offer additional services for our community members. 

The center continues to find funding for new programs. There has been discussion of funding renovations to the building through the U.S. Senate Office of Tommy Tuberville. The renovations of the four wings of the building and repaving the parking lot, which has been a goal since the opening of the center, are quoted at $675,000.

They are also looking at funding from USDA to buy a van for the center. This would allow for citizens to be transported to and from the wellness center. 

The center has received internal funding from Auburn University to have a mobile clinic to offer services outside of the building. Chambers County would serve as the pilot program for a mobile clinic.

“What I really want to see is five years from now standing in front of you, we’re not just looking at these numbers, but we’re looking at your health outcomes, Cost said. “You’re not going to be the highest in mortality rates for cervical cancer and you’re not going to have the hypertension, the diabetes… I’m fully committed to the work we’re doing now.”