Editorial: Health Care Help

Nearly 100,000 people in the River Region rely on local emergency rooms for routine medical services.

That clearly doesn't serve patients or hospitals well.

Nationally, 85 providers received federal stimulus grants to help improve health care centers and the state of Alabama received one.  To the credit of community leaders, Montgomery got it.

More than 11 million dollars was awarded to Health Services Incorporated, a private nonprofit company that operates federally funded health centers in the region to serve uninsured and underinsured people.

We applaud Envision 2020 who spearheaded the effort to get the grant, Jackson Hospital for donating the property to build a new health center, and the city and county for contributing two and a half million additional dollars to make it happen.

The new facility will replace the Lister Hill clinic that is more than 40 years old.  It should be open in less than two years.  It will be much larger and able to offer primary care to an additional 25,000 people.

This is a huge positive for everyone in the River Region and underscores how the public and private sectors working cooperatively can improve our quality of life.