Originally created 11/10/99

New facility will help improve health care



It looks like something off the set of a cooking show. But the instructional kitchen at the new Richmond County Health Department won't entertain, it will help families learn how to feed themselves and help improve health care in Augusta.

Richmond County Board of Health members got a chance Tuesday night to tour the new $7 million clinic off Laney-Walker Boulevard and found it is more than just a pretty building. Compared to the current decrepit location on Broad Street -- a "temporary" home since 1982 -- the new clinic should send a message to health department clients, said Dr. Frank Rumph, East Central Health District director.

"There's no question that this type of facility, in terms of appearance, what it has to offer residents has a lot to do with the confidence patients feel in the type of care they're getting," Dr. Rumph said. "We feel the people we serve deserve the same type of facility and care and service as at any other institution in the immediate area."

The project was brought in far enough under budget that it should include enough for new furniture, said consultant F.A. Johnson, bringing cheers from the board members. It will enable the health department to move off Broad Street and bring in the TB and dental clinics on Druid Park and Chafee avenues, Dr. Rumph said.

"It allows us to integrate better with less staff," he added.

Board Chairman John Bell said, "It's really exciting about how much better the community is going to be served here."

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213.