Thursday, August 27, 2009
• Byhalia Chamber of Commerce luncheon
By SUE WATSON
Northeast Mississippi Health Care Inc. sponsored the Byhalia Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon August 13 at The Flame (Byhalia United Methodist Church). That guaranteed a large crowd of employees from the Byhalia and Mt. Pleasant family health care centers and a look backward provided by executive director Marjorie McKinney.
The Byhalia center is the only joint commission accredited ambulatory primary care facility in North Mississippi, McKinney said.
And she is proud of the growth of the centers since the first efforts began to open a clinic took place on January 17, 1979. There is deep pride as well.
“Our facility unlocks the mystery of how you are going to get health care and pay for it,” she said to a large audience of Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce members.
The clinics accept all types of insurance including the CHIPS insurance program and offers discounted pharmacy plans, she said.
The center also offers cancer screening programs for men and women, the WIC program for expectant and new mothers, in-house x-rays and lab services, children’s health services, vaccinations, men’s and women’s health programs, affordable dental care, and flu and pneumonia vaccines, to name a few services.
Something new in the works for the center is a new facility for dentistry that will double the capacity to serve patients and plans for a new 4,000-foot facility in Mt. Pleasant.
With financial audits just completed covering the past 12 months, McKinney reported the following:
Sharing a personal moment, McKinney said she was asked by a board member if she ever wanted to be a missionary.
“This has been a special time,” she said. “If you ever wanted to be a missionary, this is the place. Every day something special happens to us.”
She added, “People don’t have to die because they don’t have health insurance.”
Dr. Rogers with the Byhalia clinic said his main suggestion for communities is that they have a flu prepardness plan for their family, church and place of work.
There are three types of influenza that could spread this winter, the seasonal flu, H1N1 and the bird flu, he said.
People can go to www.flu.gov to find a recommended flu plan, he said. The site is loaded with information, including flu vaccination information.
Chamber president Bill Kinkade thanked the health care clinic and the Byhalia Methodist Church for the leadership role they provide to the community and included the chamber membership. He praised executive director Sarah Sawyer whom he referred to as “our great cheerleader.”
Sawyer recognized new chamber members then reviewed some recent activities and upcoming ones as well.
She said Leadership Marshall is one of the big success stories of the chambers and the county helping provide instruction in both personal and professional development. The next class starts in January and will select about 30 new recruits.
The Poker Run was highly successful, held in conjunction with the Clydesdale Festival in June.
The 13th annual chamber golf tourney is set for September 17 at Kirkwood in Holly Springs. Kinkade is chairing the tourney registration and seeking team signups. The tourney is the single biggest fund-raiser for the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce.
New Byhalia Mayor Phil Malone welcomed everyone to the luncheon and thanked the Byhalia Family Health Care Center for providing leadership to the community and for contributing funds to build a walking track in the downtown park area.
Sawyer reviewed the names of chamber sponsors and called for new members - individual, couple, senior citizens and business memberships.
The chamber is raising funds with the sale of wall plaques that are on display inside the chamber offices at $75 each or a memorial brick that can be purchased for $120. Bricks will have the member’s name on them and be laid in front of the chamber office.
She added that since the winds blew through Church Street, essentially changing the landscape, that people are taking the opportunity to make some changes.
“We’ve got the midas wells in Byhalia,” she quipped. “We might as well paint and fix up.”
McKinney reported that on June 12 about $50,000 in damage was sustained at the health care center. That included roof and elevator damage, she said.
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