Leland Medical Clinic Opening
With healthcare resources meager at best, Dianne Burchfield worried for a time whether residents in her community would have access to even the most basic services.
“I’ve been here all my life, going to doctors in Leland, and I hoped I’d be able to keep doing that,” said Burchfield. “So when the Delta Health Alliance (DHA) stepped in to bring the old hospital back as a top-notch medical clinic, it was a real blessing.”
On May 19, Burchfield, who serves on the clinic’s patient advisory board, and other community leaders cut the ribbon on the new Leland Medical Clinic, a facility that will bring needed care to a region of the country that historically has been underserved when it comes to health services.
The Leland Medical Clinic is housed in the old city hospital, a nearly 60-year-old structure that has undergone a $1.2 million renovation to offer quality healthcare to residents who might otherwise be forced to travel to see a doctor or nurse practitioner. The renovation was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“It’s so amazing to see the transformation that’s taken place,” said Gary Jones of the USDA. “We will continue to be partners with the Delta Health Alliance to improve the quality of life in Leland.”
The new clinic features:
- Seven exam rooms, including two pediatric exam rooms
- X-ray services offering immediate results
- Two full-service lab rooms
- A patient exercise room
Staff, both full-time and part-time, includes the clinic medical director, Neal Suares, MD; Deniece Russell-McAdory, FNP ;a psychiatric nurse practitioner; a registered dietician; community health worker; nurses; and front office personnel.
“Without these people, it’s just a shell of a building,” said Daniel Thomas, who oversees clinic administration as an assistant vice president of DHA. Prior to renovation of the clinic, services were housed in a modular building adjacent to the new facility.
Since 2013, the Leland Medical Clinic has been supported by DHA. The clinic is a Recognized Patient Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. The designation means that the entire clinic staff, as well as patients, work together as a team by focusing on all aspects of patients’ health using enhanced technology and chronic disease management.
“This is just a great thing for the patients and for the entire community,” said Lovia Davis, who remembers being treated at the old hospital more than 40 years ago. “They did a beautiful job and I’d have to give them an ‘A’. Thank God for this.”
The certified rural health clinic treats more than 2,700 patients, a quarter of whom have no insurance. That number is expected to grow with the closing of the Leland and Hollandale branches of the Mississippi State Department of Health. Twelve percent of those patients have been diagnosed with diabetes while more than 21 percent receive care for high-blood pressure. Services provided by the clinic include management of acute and chronic illnesses, psychiatric care, wellness exams and checkups, immunizations, pediatric care, work-injury treatment, drug testing, pre-employment and school physicals, and nutritional services.
Burchfield, whose husband served on the board of directors of the old city hospital, said that without DHA, quality healthcare in her community would be non-existent.
“They are a lifesaver. Whatever I can do to help them is better for our community,” said Burchfield. “It takes a team and we’re all part of this effort.”