Georgia town with no practicing physician gets help from ex-President Jimmy Carter

Plains, Ga. — a small town with almost 700 residents and no practicing physician — will see a new healthcare facility in its area thanks in part to former President Jimmy Carter, according to The Telegraph.

Mr. Carter's advocacy reportedly led the Macon, Ga.-based Mercer University School of Medicine to open a primary care clinic in the area in July, Jean R. Sumner, MD, dean of the medical school, told the publication.

Dr. Sumner said Mr. Carter called the university's president and discussed the need for better healthcare in Plains and "opened the door" for the clinic.

The goal of the new healthcare facility is about "developing and refining a model that will work in rural communities," Dr. Sumner said, adding that the clinic will feature a physician and a nurse practitioner, and will help train Mercer medical students.

The clinic — the medical school's first rural primary care clinic, according to the report — will also provide telemedicine services via the nonprofit organization Global Partnership for Telehealth.

Rural healthcare has faced formidable challenges in recent years, particularly in Georgia. At least six rural hospitals across the state have closed since 2013, though two of them reopened as downsized facilities. Six of the state's 159 counties have no physician, 63 counties have no pediatrician, 66 counties have no general surgeon and 79 counties lack an OB-GYN provider, the report states.

To access the full report, click here.

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