County to look at healthcare solutions
The Milam County Commissioners took several steps to address the lack of healthcare in the county during a meeting March 9.
During the meeting Danielle Janicek was on hand to discuss the possibility of bringing a new clinic/urgent care facility to Cameron.
Commissioners also approved the creation of a task force to look at healthcare in the county.
“A few weeks ago this nice young lady approached be about using the professional building at the hospital for a clinic in Cameron,” County Judge Steve Young said. “She and I went out and looked at it. I called John Egger to come out and look at it. It is clearly worth renovating. I don’t have a cost on it.”
Young said one possibility would be to fix the building up and let Janicek move out there.
Janicek said she is wanting to provide a clinic and urgent care.
“As far as after hours care right now everyone is having to drive to College Station or Temple,” she said. “I work at Scott & White and wait times are outrageous. This would help the community with urgent care injuries and take care of clinic needs.”
She said the clinic would take walk-ins and imaging would be available as well as labs.
“I was wanting to rent the professional building out and see where we can go with that,” she said.
Janicek said the urgent care wouldn’t close at 5 p.m. and would be open until 11 p.m. The clinic would be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Janicek is a nurse practitioner and she said she has an ER doctor involved to help with the emergency aspect along with another provider that would be involved. She has already started getting her credentials and just needs the space. She said it will take three to six months to get everything in place. She also plans to farm out her billing and administration.
“If the county is going to invest in this she has to make a go of it,” Young said. “I went to Thorndale to see Dr. House who has a clinic there and guess what they are making money there. She has 5,000 patients. They are taking Medicare, Medicaid and insurance and aren’t receiving any subsidies.”
Young said they are currently farming out their administrative work and that is working well for them.
No decision was made during the meeting. Young said he just wanted to present the project to commissioners so they could be thinking on it.
“The idea of working on urgent care started when Little River left,” Young said.
“We have made a lot of progress in the county with the PHI air ambulance and several clinics in Thorndale and Rockdale, and Scott & White here in Cameron.”
Young said this is a countywide problem.
“I think is it prudent for us to do something on a countywide basis,” he said. “To set up some kind of commission to look into this. It isn’t just urgent care. We have issues with ambulance care and we need another ambulance.”
Young said he isn’t interested in raising taxes but there may be a need to use a percentage of the county’s taxes to create a medical district of some sort.
Collier Perry of Rockdale was on hand to present this to the court.
“I think it is time to recognize healthcare as a countywide issue,” Perry said. “All of us have benefitted by the healthcare that has been provided here before. That failed because we don’t have the population to support for-profit hospital care.”
Perry asked the commissioners to formally recognize healthcare as a countywide issue with a resolution and establish a task force to work on solutions to the problem.
Commissioners approved the resolution and create the task force.
Perry said he would like to open the task force to anyone in the county that is called to work on this issue. He said this will take people that have a vision and think out of the box.
The task force will look at all the issues surrounding healthcare and formulate a solution.
Young said he already has an idea of some people he would like on the task force but each commissioner can appoint people of their choosing.
If you are interested in the task force, contact the Judge’s office at (254) 697-7000.