Partnerships in rural communities assist enhance entry to high quality well being care
Posted on: November 20, 2019; Up to date on: November 20, 2019
Margaret Gregory, Margaret.Gregory@uscmed.sc.edu, 803-216-3384
Once you point out Dr. Charles McElmurray’s title to anybody within the small South Carolina
city of Winnsboro, it’s seemingly that they know him, whether or not as a affected person or from his
work locally. For practically 30 years, McElmurray has been caring for the
space’s residents, and for a lot of that point was the one well being care practitioner
within the space that offered look after pregnant ladies.
Even at the moment, with few suppliers and the current closing of the county’s solely hospital,
McElmurray continues to fill an incredible void. Underserved areas the place entry to
high quality well being care is extraordinarily restricted and, in some instances, nonexistent, are persevering with
to develop throughout the nation.
In South Carolina, a majority of the 46 counties are thought-about to be medically underserved.
Fairfield County, the place McElmurray practices, ranks close to the underside in general well being,
with an unemployment price of seven.four p.c and a ratio of greater than 2,500 sufferers per
doctor, in accordance with the South Carolina Workplace of Rural Well being.
In 1992, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia and different college well being sciences applications launched an initiative in an try
to enhance entry to high quality well being look after the residents of Fairfield County. Thus
was born the John A. Martin Main Well being Care Heart in Winnsboro.
McElmurray, a scientific affiliate professor on the College of Medication, grew to become the middle’s
first medical director, and he has been serving sufferers there ever since. One in all
the distinctive points of McElmurray’s function is that he not solely serves as a medical supplier,
but additionally as a instructor. Throughout his time on the middle, he has helped to coach extra
than 1,400 well being skilled college students, offering them with the chance to study
about working in a rural well being care setting and offering providers to a group
that’s in dire want.
Whereas we’ve a job of teaching future physicians, we additionally work to teach our sufferers
… I see it as a duty to assist them make higher choices of their lives that
will considerably affect their future.
Dr. Charles McElmurray
“We’ve been capable of provide coaching for college students in a wide selection of disciplines,”
McElmurray says. “From medical to social work, pharmacy to nurse practitioners, these
college students get to see what it’s like to supply care to typically generations of households.”
The closing of Fairfield Memorial Hospital meant a fair higher affect on the supply
of care to space residents. Whereas a brand new free-standing emergency room helps with offering
emergent care, McElmurray is much more targeted on educating each college students and sufferers.
“Whereas we’ve a job of teaching future physicians, we additionally work to teach our
sufferers. Household drugs is a duty to educating our sufferers care
for themselves and handle their ailments. I see it as a duty to assist
them make higher choices of their lives that may considerably affect their future,”
McElmurray hopes that he has been capable of assist extra college students resolve to comply with the
path towards household drugs, but he understands that not everyone seems to be reduce from the
material that makes a household drugs physician.
“We give college students the prospect to see what sort of affect they will have on not solely
a person affected person, but additionally on the group as an entire, over a time frame,”
he says. “We hope that by exposing them to the agricultural well being care setting, that they
will select to remain in that setting.”
In an effort to develop the variety of household drugs medical doctors practising in rural areas,
particularly within the state, the South Carolina Heart for Rural and Main Healthcare,
situated on the College of Medication, partnered with the Prisma Heath–Midlands Household
Medication Residency Program to position a resident doctor on the Martin Main Well being
Care Heart. This system’s first resident, Dr. Andre Patterson, is a 2018 graduate
of the College of Medication.
When Patterson heard concerning the new residency program, he pursued an interview with
Dr. Mark Shaffer, this system’s web site director and present medical director for the
Martin Main Well being Care Heart. Patterson knew this system may assist him obtain
his aim of practising in a rural setting, whereas accessing a significant tutorial
medical middle for extra in-depth coaching in advanced medical points.
“I feel this can be a terrific alternative, as a result of I can work with households in offering
a continuity of care in an space the place there are few specialists,” Patterson says.
Shaffer, who can also be a scientific assistant professor of household and preventive drugs
on the College of Medication, says the brand new residency program will serve a number of functions,
together with a targeted real-world expertise for residents.
“That is an funding between group companions and sufferers in creating an ongoing
relationship and the availability of the very best degree of high quality care,” he says.
Past the brand new residency program, the South Carolina Heart for Rural and Main
Healthcare has additionally launched different rural-focused coaching applications, together with a statewide
initiative to coach rural main care suppliers to make use of point-of-care ultrasonography
and a program at McLeod Well being to leverage medical know-how and simulation coaching
units to enhance rural main care doctor recruitment and retention.
McElmurray, who lately obtained the College of Medication Dean’s Management Award,
credit his continued want for educating to those that taught him, in addition to his
dad and mom, who have been function fashions for him.
“Others took time with me and, hopefully, I may help go alongside the significance of
the people we maintain and treating them effectively,” he says. “I hope we are able to affect
them in a optimistic approach to make issues higher going ahead.”
For extra data on the work being accomplished to enhance well being in South Carolina, go to
the SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare website.
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