Belle Terrace, Christ Community Health Services expanding to meet patient needs

 

Better access to a doctor’s office could be coming for needy residents as two community health clinics expand facilities and services.

The growing number of patient visits at Belle Terrace Health and Wellness Centers in south Augusta and Christ Commu­nity Health Services in downtown Augusta led both clinics to add providers, services and square footage.

Belle Terrace recently broke ground on an 18,500-square-foot facility next to its clinic at 2467 Golden Camp Road. Completion is scheduled for August.

In the existing 4,000-square-foot building, crowded waiting areas and exam rooms with thin walls compromise patient confidentiality, CEO Janice Sher­man said. Patients standing at the registration window can be
overheard by others in the waiting room.

“The new waiting room affords the space to have private meetings with patients and give patients the confidence they are receiving that confidentiality,” she said.

The current building, which will be razed for a parking lot, was donated by University Hospital when the clinic opened in 1999.

With a new facility, Belle Ter­race hopes to double the number of patients served annually to 22,000 by 2017. The clinic will add two medical providers for a total of five and will offer
cancer screenings, women’s health and outreach programs in addition to family medicine and limited dental services, Sherman said.

Construction of the building is funded by a $4.9 million community health clinic grant received as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Christ Community Health Ser­vices plans to continue renovations on the second and third floors of the historic Widows Home, which opened as the organization’s second clinic in 2011 after extensive renovations. Completing the floors would add space for administration, physical therapy and a dental clinic, said Ron Skenes, the clinic’s director of communications and development.

The clinic, which will likely serve 13,000 patients this year, opened Nov. 1, 2007, with four exam rooms, two providers and two staff members.

“If you fast-forward five years later, we have nine providers and a staff of 35 in two locations with 22 exam rooms,” Skenes said.

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