Etheridge announces new Lillington health center

Lillington, NC — U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge today announced First Choice Community Health Centers of Mamers will construct a two-story 32,000 square feet Health Center in Lillington, NC.

These funds will create construction and health center jobs, and enable community health centers to provide affordable care to many additional patients. This $3.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was made available though the Affordable Care Act, which Etheridge helped pass into law.

“These funds will create good jobs and provide patients in our rural communities with access to high-quality primary care,” said Etheridge. “Whether you live in a big city or small town, you should be able to see a good doctor, in a quality facility. Supporting this community health center means more people will be able to get healthcare when they need it.”

The new facility will provide quality and comprehensive healthcare services for the entire community, and include primary health, dental, behavioral health, patient education and wellness programs and administrative support areas. The new health center will include 16 exam rooms, two treatment and procedure rooms, a laboratory, x-ray, pharmacy, eight dental operatories, patient registration and business functions space, staff support areas, waiting areas, and patient education areas, a patient advocacy office, health education and nutrition center, medical assistance offices, two behavioral health offices, a wellness center, an education center, and administrative offices.

“Congressman Bob Etheridge has been a champion of First Choice Community Health Centers from day one. Because of Bob’s diligence and commitment, his vision of increased access to care is now a reality,” said Shelia Simmons, chief executive officer of First Choice Community Health Centers. “Thanks to Bob’s hard work for his constituents, we are going to be able to build a new state-of-the-art health center that will create jobs and allow us to better serve the health needs of people here in Harnett County and the surrounding area.”

Today’s awards are the first in a series of awards that will be made available under the Affordable Care Act to make healthcare accessible to thousands of additional patients. The funding announced today is addition to the $585,000 that First Choice Community Health Centers received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to purchase two emergency generators for the Anderson Creek Dental Clinic and the Angier Medical Center, replace four dental operatories where dentists and assistants perform tasks away from patients, renovate the Angier Medical Center and Benhaven Medical Center, and begin construction and renovation at the Anderson Creek Medical Center.

“Improving our community health centers keeps people out of the emergency room by giving rural and underserved residents a way to see a doctor close to home. That means making these improvements not only expands access to care but creates jobs and saves money for all of us,” said Etheridge.