$5M medical facility planned for Frayser
For residents of Frayser, there aren't many options when it comes to medical care.
"They drive far to go to a doctor," said Jermaine Armstrong.
But those long drives to see a doctor or dentist could soon be a thing of the past. Christ Community Health Services plans to build a new $5 million facility on a vacant lot near Frayser Boulevard and Thomas Street.
"I just heard today and I'm kind of excited," said Randy Henry.
Christ Community was awarded federal money through the Affordable Care Act to break ground on a new 18,000- to 19,000-square-foot facility. Presently, they're operating in a 3,400-square-foot building and can treat anywhere from 50-60 patients a day.
"We've been busy from the day we opened our doors here quite a few years ago," said Bert Waller, Christ Community CEO. "We turn away people every day because we have inadequate space and staff to accommodate the demand."
"It's really busy because we have a lot of people in this area and it seems like everybody comes to this location and sometimes it gets kind of hectic," Henry added.
The larger building will allow extra space for more patients and for more doctors. Once the new clinic is up and running, there will be six physicians on staff compared to the three doctors they have now.
In addition to health care, the new facility will offer dental care, something they don't offer at the current clinic.
"Out here in Frayser, there are a couple of dentists but this is a population of 48,000," Waller said. "So, the number of dentists is inadequate for the size of the community."
"I'll make sure I tell a lot of folks about it so they can go get a check up and get their teeth cleaned," Armstrong added.
Two dentists and two dental hygienist will work at the new medical center, which will also include a pharmacy and a full-time pharmacist.
The new Frayser medical clinic is targeted to open in March or April 2014.