by Anayeli Ruiz
BIG SPRING - A new healthcare center aimed to help the less fortunate opened their doors on Tuesday in Big Spring.
If you were a family who needed a little help with the health care and you lived Howard County, you had to travel to Lamesa or the Midland/Odessa area to get your health care needs met.
As of Tuesday, you don't have to anymore. You can get it all taken care of in Howard County.
"We began working with the county approximately a year and a half ago with the Economic Development Corporation to bring a federally qualified Health Center to Howard County," Judy Madura with the South Plains Rural Health Services, said.
The community health center is a satellite of South Plains Rural Health Services, which is based out of Levelland. They worked together with the county and Economic Development and were able to turn a rundown clinic into a brand new facility in just a few months. But what exactly will this clinic do for the community?
"We're just a full service medical clinic. The only difference is we provide our services to people based on their family size, their income and ability to pay. So everything is on a sliding fee scale," Madura said.
The clinic also sees patients with insurance. But this will not be a competition for the hospital, they're just looking to provide relief.
"We're looking to help the hospital here by taking some of that burden off them through the emergency room by diverging some of those clients here for their primary needs, instead of going to the emergency room for illnesses that should be managed in a regular doctor's office," Madura said.
Just to open up the clinic, they hired nine people from Big Spring and they plan to offer more services to help the public.
"We are providing pharmacy services through a courier with our Levelland office so the patients are getting their medications at the discount and the pharmacy will be open within two months and hopefully the dental within six months," Madura said.
So far, the community has responded positive to the opening so much that on Tuesday they had a full schedule.
"We really want to provide a quality service to the community but we also want to be able to make the center financially viable and have enough clients to keep the doors open," Madura said.