New health department opens in Blount County

New health department opens in Blount County

April 23, 2007

MARYVILLE (WATE) -- Blount County's new health department facility officially opened Monday with a dedication ceremony and an open house.

The county renovated the former library building at 301 McGhee Street for the new facility. The expansion will help accommodate growing numbers of patients, including those without insurance.

Since the Blount County Health Department began providing primary care services in July 2006, it's seen a significant increase in patient numbers.

The new facility opened on March 12 and now has an average of 130 patients scheduled each day, in addition to walk-in patients.

The total cost of the renovation project was $3 million. Blount County provided $2 million of that.

"This new building represents the partnership Blount County has with the state to provide public health services for the people who live, work and play here," said Blount County Mayor Jerry Cunningham in a press release. "It is truly a win-win for the taxpayer."

The new Blount County Health Department provides much needed additional clinic space. The former facility had only seven examination rooms. The new facility is 29,000 square feet and includes 24 examination rooms.

The department now employs 50 full-time staffers, including a primary care physician.

"This department is the most-visited in our 15-county region. The expansion allows us serve our patients more efficiently," said Paul Erwin, M.D., the state's East Regional health director.

The Blount County Health Department provides services including: primary care, family planning, WIC and nutrition services, immunizations, breast and cervical cancer screening, birth and death certificates, children's special services, HIV testing and counseling and communicable disease control.

Basic medical services for uninsured adults are offered on a sliding fee scale based on income, with a $5.00 minimum fee for each visit.

Hours for the clinic are from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If you want to make an appointment, call (865) 983-4582.

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