South Georgia Medical Center and the Partnership Health Center have collaborated to increase primary care access. With SGMC’s support, the Partnership Health Center has moved from its original location on Woodrow Wilson Drive to the Ralph Council Medical Building at 520 Griffin Avenue (Statenville Hwy) in Valdosta. A generous grant from SGMC is providing additional medical providers and support staff in the new location.Beginning March 20, 2017, hours at the newly-relocated Partnership Health Center will expand to 12 hours per day, Monday through Friday.“With the expansion, there is currently no waiting list to become a Partnership Health Center patient,” says John Sparks, Executive Director of the Partnership Health Center. “We can see walk-ins within a short period of time, as well as established patients with appointments.”The expanded hours will make it more convenient for the uninsured to receive appropriate care for minor illnesses such as cold and flu, urinary tract infections, rashes, strep throat, upset stomachs and other minor conditions away from SGMC’s Emergency Department.“This primary care expansion plan was created to serve uninsured patients, who in the past, received care for minor illnesses in the Emergency Department,” Sparks explained. Patients recently discharged from SGMC, who lack a healthcare provider, can use the Health Center for follow-up care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high-blood pressure, heart disease and asthma management. “The Partnership is extremely grateful for the generosity of the Hospital Authority of Valdosta & Lowndes County to expand primary care for the uninsured,” said Sparks. The Partnership Health Center is a charitable clinic that serves the uninsured ages 18 to 64. Generous eligibility guidelines apply. For example, a family of four who earns less than $48,500 annually can qualify. Call the Health Center at 229-245-0020 for more detailed information.Sparks concluded by saying, “This exciting partnership shows what community agencies can do by working together to improve the overall health and wellness of the community.” He encourages all readers to share this information with others who may benefit from these services.