By BEN GRAFTON
The PanCare Community Health Center, a non-profit basic primary care medical provider, is now open. Its offices are in Suite A of the Walton County Health Department Coastal Branch building located on Greenway Trail off of U.S. 331 south of Choctawhatchee Bay. The facility is open three days each week: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Treatment is given by prior appointment only.
With four-laning of U.S. 331 underway south of the bay, finding the PanCare Community Health Center is a little tricky. To get there, turn across the construction work on U.S. 331 onto Coastal Centre Blvd. and go past the Courthouse Annex as though going to the Coastal Branch Library. Turn left onto Greenway Trail and go to the Health Department Coastal Branch building. Through the main entrance and to the left is the Community Health Center.
PanCare is primarily dependent on government and private grants to cover its operating costs. The service is low cost, but that does not mean it is completely free because people seeking health care at this facility still have to pay a minimum fee of $20 to $60, depending on income, family size and other considerations. Patients going there for treatment on their first visit must provide legal proof of income, if any. In addition to the minimum payment, the facility will process Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance claims.
At the present time the facility is staffed with a registered nurse practitioner, a licensed practical nurse and an administrator. The facility offers basic primary care for patients, who must be at least 12 years old. It can provide treatment procedures including, but not limited to, checking vital signs, analyses for pregnancy, mononucleosis, strep infections, pap smears, electro-cardiograms, nebulizer treatments and some others. Inoculations for flu and tetanus and prescriptions for some medications (excluding pain killers and similar drugs) can be written at the center. Other procedures (e.g. cholesterol) may require taking samples and sending them to an appropriate laboratory for analysis.
According to staff, PanCare hopes to add services of a medical doctor to the center and, if plans work out, early in 2010 it will add a preventive dentistry clinic and move the whole facility to a site on SR-20 in Freeport. For more information, call 622-9150.
Contact Ben Grafton at email@example.com.
By BEN GRAFTON