News 12 This Morning / Monday, July 11, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Columbia County is ready to open its new health department facility to the public Monday. Employees from all three locations have their supplies packed up for the big merge.
As more parents get ready to vaccinate their children for a new school year, they'll need to know exactly where they need to go because all three former locations are now closed.
Moving day at the three Columbia County health department locations was last week. The supplies and electronics are headed to a bigger, centralized location.
That location is off of William Few Pkwy in a 22,000 sq. ft. building.
"Right now because of staffing and decrease in state funds, the clientele at some of the clinics are disproportionate so you have more clients than actual staff," said Linda Graves, the Columbia County nurse manager.
Moving into one location should benefit workers like Leah Smith who are responsible for ordering supplies nurses may need.
"I'm excited because everything is gonna be in one place. Don't have to travel to three different places anymore," said Smith, a program assistant for the health department.
If you're worried about how far the new locations is, we've tracked that for you. From the Appling location it's about 5 miles, from the Euchee Creek health department it's 4, and from the Evans location it's 9 miles. This makes driving from all three areas less than a 10-mile drive.
"So we are centrally located in the community," Graves said.
A central location that hopes to operate more efficiently and gives the staff more room than any of the other clinics.
"Being in one site with all the staff there, our resources in one area we wont have much of a problem with delayed appointments, so that is very exciting," Graves said.
Moving out of three different buildings is also expected to save you, the taxpayer, some money.
"For our department alone, we should save at least $200,000 a year, talking about utilities and staffing. You save quite a bit," Graves said.
Starting Monday morning you can receive services from the health department at its new location on 1930 William Few Parkway.
The nursing manager says their spacious community rooms inside will be used for education classes, state training sessions and department meetings. The health department also has a kitchen space inside for its nutrition program.