Family practice on Highway 69 progressing

  • (Becky Long • Clay County Progress) The future home of Hayesville Family Practice is being built on Highway 69, adjacent to United Community Bank in Hayesville.
    (Becky Long • Clay County Progress) The future home of Hayesville Family Practice is being built on Highway 69, adjacent to United Community Bank in Hayesville.
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The building under construction adjacent to United Community Bank in Hayesville will increase healthcare options for Clay County residents even more. “This will be a $2 million brand new facility,” Union General Health System CEO Kevin Bierschenk said. “We will also have the ability to add on as we grow.”

The new Union General Healthcare System clinic will have all new technology, including new medical equipment, according to Bierschenk. In a few short weeks, the building rose, roof trusses were placed and the walls covered. The projected opening will be sometime in October. Once it is complete, Hayesville Family Practice will occupy the new site.

Hayesville Family Practice office manager Kim Chester said the staff is very excited. “We have been there more than 12 years,” she said. “There is more room for patient care. The new building will be much more accessible, especially for senior citizens and those without much mobility. It will also have covered front entrance to make it easy for transportation and others to drop people off right at the door.”

All of the same faces will be at the new site. Dr. Paula Boyle will be the supervising physician seeing patients one day a week in Hayesville at the Young Harris clinic on other days. Nurse practitioners include Judy Gainer, Keith Plott and Rhonda Schlienger. A full-time physician is being sought, as well.

Services offered will continue to be the same found at Hayesville Family Practice now. Some of these include:

• Sick visits

• Management of chronic illnesses

• Wellness exams

• Work and sports physicals

• Immunizations

• Flu shots

Bierschenk said the ultimate goal is to add specialty services such as obstetrics, orthopedic,  sports medicine and possibly other specialties. “Union General Health System is a nonprofit health system with 1,300 employees,” he added. “We are excited to be part of the Hayesville and Clay County community and we will work to continue to be an important part of it. We think it will be a great asset. The county, county manager, commissioners and mayor of Hayesville have all been very supportive and we appreciate that.”

For many years, medical care was in short supply in Clay County.  In August, Erlanger opened a walk-in clinic and primary care facility on Highway 64 East in the former Dollar General. Union General also has a walk-in clinic across from Young Harris College at 1155 Main Street in Young Harris, Ga.

Until the new Union General clinic is completed, patients may visit the Young Harris clinic or Hayesville Family Practice, located in Suite #4 at Moore’s Plaza, 450 U.S. 64 Business Highway near downtown Hayesville. It is open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.