Auburn University partnering with Chambers Co. to increase affordable health care

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 2:39 PM EST
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CHAMBERS COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Auburn University is partnering with the city of Lafayette and the Chambers County Commission to help increase access to high quality and affordable health care and in rural areas in Alabama.

At the Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center, a new technology station allows patients to get a virtual medical exam… you don’t need an appointment and it’s a whole lot cheaper than other options here in Chambers County.

“When folks needed some services of health care they would go into the lobby of the fire station and that became this make shift clinic… well the fire chief identified this was a strong need in the community,” said Assistant Vice President of University Outreach Hollie Cost.

When COVID-19 struck Chambers County became the epicenter for a handful of cases…receiving hundreds of health care calls and 9-11 emergencies. Fire Chief and EMA Director Jim Doody said the nearest hospital or urgent care is 30 minutes away and living in a rural area that needed to change.

“It really got a lot of things in the works to start to bring something here like this OnMed station from Auburn University to just help those in need,” said Chief Doody.

Here is how the OnMed Care Station works:

  • Enter the OnMed Care Station anytime no appointment needed.
  • Press start to connect with a certified doctor on live video to begin your private visit.
  • You will receive an exam where all tools are attached within the station… including a blood pressure cuff, thermometer and a scale to your weight.
  • After a short conversation with the doctor, they will prescribe you medicine - where you’ll pick it up at your local pharmacy… the entire visit takes less than 15 minutes.

“We want to do this right in Lafayette and Chambers County, we want to make sure we are meeting the needs of the citizens here but then we would like to see this all over East Alabama,” said Cost.

Chief Doody said payment will be taken within the station and will cost 45 dollars per visit… after each appointment the station will sanitize itself before the next patient.

“It just gives the opportunity instead of the 9 to 5 normal doctors office visits, it allows you to come on the weekends or late at night when you need to seek medical attention. They are already scratching at the door to come in and that’s what we want... we want to see currently in use sign on this machine 24 hours a day,” said Doody.

According to the Auburn University outreach, “The Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center is supported through grants and monetary contributions by The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), the Alfa Corporation, Auburn University, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chambers County Commission, and The City of LaFayette.”

The Center will feature these services as well as other areas as needs emerge:

The Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center is located at 404 9th Avenue, Lafayette, AL, 36862.

If you would like more information click here.