ProHealth opens in Good Sam

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

ProHealth Selma, Inc, will open its doors today in the Good Samaritan Hospital building, and Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. says it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“The timing couldn’t be better with all of the crises going on throughout the state right now and the influx of people coming in who have serious needs,” Perkins said. “The availability of a health clinic right now in Selma is a welcome resource and service. We’ve been anticipating this and the timing couldn’t have been better.”

According to a press release, ProHealth Selma will begin accepting appointments today.

“Its purpose is to grow into a fully comprehensive health care center that serves as a single entity to serve the needs of the residents of Dallas and the surrounding counties,” the release stated. “ProHealth will deliver services specifically designed to meet identified needs of the target population.

As a result of the infrastructure and collaboration, ProHealth will improve the outcomes related to health disparities in the target population.”

Perkins said it is especially gratifying to see a project come to fruition that will have tangible results for the citizens of the city.

“This is helping to respond to this critical need of wellness and prevention services for the people who need it the most,” Perkins said. “It’s what we need and it’s good to see happen.”

There were some who questioned the city’s motives behind leasing the Good Sam building.

The building itself is in a state of disrepair on the upper floors and some council members questioned whether or not the building would be a detriment to the city’s finances.

In May, the city, in a 5-4 vote, decided to lease the building.

The agreement-a result of city officials negotiations with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs-says the city is responsible for payments to ADECA. Perkins said the payments would be a percentage rate: 20 percent of the net “profit” the city makes.

Which, Perkins said, means the city won’t have to pay a dime until the building starts making money.

Now ProHealth is one of the building’s tenants.

Perkins said there are currently four tenants in the Good Sam with three or four more possibilities.

“It’s working, not without a few bumps in the road, but I think that’s what all of us get up to do everyday, go to work (and smooth out the bumps),” he said. “You work on these projects and some people doubt for legitimate reasons and some people doubt just because. It’s good to see a plan to mature.”

Perkins added that he is pleased to see the facility operate for its intended purpose.

The Good Sam originally served as a hospital created by the Fathers of St. Edmund to help serve the black community in Selma.

During the Civil Rights Movement, many of the “Bloody Sunday” marchers were treated there.

“The whole idea is to manage our health so that we don’t need a clinic,” Perkins said. “It is for the uninsured and the underinsured.”

According the release, to insure that access to primary medical and related services is available to all a visit to the ProHealth facility can cost as little as $15 for the uninsured.

Charge will be based on income.

Those covered by Medicare will not be charged an annual deductible and co-insurance payment may be discounted to zero based on income and existing medical expenses.