Where do you go for care?

Published 4:13 pm Friday, July 7, 2023

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Residents living in Butler, Lowndes, and Crenshaw counties live roughly 45 minutes to an hour from the nearest major cities and the amenities found there. So, when they fall ill, where do they turn for treatment?

Rural citizens turn to their local health providers. And, when I found myself very sick last week, that’s exactly what I did too.

Butler and Crenshaw counties are fortunate to boast family care practitioners, specialists, urgent care offices, and community hospitals. Lowndes residents do not have local access to all of these options but can receive a broad range of care options at the family care practice in Hayneville.

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Many generations ago, rural communities supported their own local doctors, who ran offices in communities like Highland Home or made house calls out into the most remote areas. These health care professionals delivered the whole range of services available at the time – delivering babies, treating rheumatism, and pulling teeth.

Locals rarely traveled to the big city for care. They received the needed treatment close to home, or they didn’t, and paid as they could afford, with cash, food, or a promise, for services received.

Modern people have more options now. Those who cannot receive needed care locally can travel to other cities to see a provider. When I worked out of Montgomery, I received all needed health care services there.

Coming on board the Greenville Newspapers, Inc. staff changed that for me. No longer traveling daily “to town,” I looked for local providers to meet my healthcare needs and felt blessed at the array of available services so close to home.

Last week, a medication change resulted in complications which ultimately landed me in the hospital. I was glad my local provider had the resources and connections to see me quickly, evaluate my situation, and coordinate the care I needed.

Not everyone can say this. While Butler and Crenshaw County residents have facilities close to home, Lowndes County residents are still working to bring in local providers and services so that residents, especially those who cannot travel, will receive the care they need.

I am very grateful for the care provided by local professionals. Community support is vital to maintaining and expanding local services. We encourage residents to explore the wide array of health care options available nearby and to support efforts to expand services in areas like Lowndes County, where residents are still working to cultivate the health care community.