By Shaun Wink
Family Care Clinic staffers (left to right): Candra Inman, billing specialist; Brittany Kemp, CCMA, CMAA; Dr. Holly Jeffreys, FNP-BC; Dr. Keith Black, DO; Jennifer Yaws, FNPC; Beth Dumaoal, office manager; and Monica Bonner LVN. Not pictured are Karrie Smith and Wayne Woodward, FNP-BC.
Over the years we have heard about the statistics of disparities of rural health care through the United States. We have heard about the declining health in rural areas and the increase of diseases due to lack of health care and how the future of rural America depends on the need for health care providers taking up the call to re-local to smaller towns and cities to care for those of Americans who chose to live in rural America.
Panhandle is just one of those rural communities that has a need for good affordable health care…though just miles from the large hospitals in Amarillo, Borger and Pampa…the need for everyday medical care was lacking. Over the years, many different physicians have made temporary offices in Panhandle…some for a few years and some for a few months.
In October of 2009, Dr. Holly Jeffreys, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC opened the Family Care Clinic of Panhandle on Main Street in the old clinic which was established by late Dr. Jack Prendergast many years earlier. Beth Dumaoal was her only full-time employee. She was office manager, clerk, and receptionist; assuming and fulfilling any other role that Dr. Jeffreys needed her to.
On Jan. 21, 2013, Family Care Clinic of Panhandle will open its new facility on Highway 60. The warm and beautiful state-of-the-art facility will house eight exam rooms, two patient waiting areas, staff offices and meeting rooms, x-ray facilities, community education area and as well as future physical therapy service area. (The Clinic planned to open on Jan. 14; however, weather conditions have prolonged the move.)
“The new facility will allow for more than one provider to see patients at the same time which will help to more efficiently accommodate same day appointments, such as walk-ins, as well as if an elderly patient cannot get out of his or her home, we will be able to send a provider to the home to evaluate and treat the patient’s health issues on an as needed basis,” said Dr. Jefferys.
“We will also have room for community education classes in health and wellness issues, nutrition classes, diabetes classes, etc. We will continue to have a complete lab, digital x-ray capabilities and telemedicine service,” she added. “We have a physical therapy area for which we plan to incorporate to on-site physical therapy services in the near future.”
Family Care Clinic has also joined with United Allergies to provide a full-time nurse and provider dedicated to providing allergy screening, testing and treatment for patients of all ages.
In 2010, two more full-time employees were added as well as the additional of telemedicine and x-ray services. Telemedicine enables a medical provider to telecommunicate and information technologies to provide patients with specialized clinical health care, eliminating distance barriers in rural areas as well as in critical care and emergency situations. X-ray facilities allow the providers to assess the problems locally without long waits and driving to Amarillo, Borger or Pampa.
In 2011, Dr. Keith Black, DO, joined Family Care Clinic as well as additional support staff. In 2012, the Cal Farley Boys Ranch Clinic was added with the addition of three more family practice providers: Jennifer Yaws, Wayne Woodward and Sarah Pillsbury. A team of 12, including support and professional staffs, provide care on both campuses.
“We currently have positions open for a full-time clerical position, full- and part-time medical assistant and full-time x-ray and or lab tech,” Dr. Jeffrey said. “We are so excited to have a place that will be a permanent home to one of the best family practice clinics in the state of Texas, and we look forward to growing and serving residents of Panhandle as well as the surrounding cities and counties in the Panhandle.”