By Shari Harris, Publisher
Work has begun on creating a new TCMH Family Clinic in Licking. Thanks to a $1.69 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and a $250,000 match by TCMH, the old Sturgeon Chevrolet building, next to Friend Lumber Company, has been purchased. Demolition work has begun on the interior to give construction crews a clean slate on which to remodel the building into the new clinic.
TCMH purchased the building earlier this year, after receiving the CDBG grant they had applied for on behalf of the City of Licking. South Central Ozark Council of Governments (SCOCOG) is assisting with the management of the grant funds.
TCMH employees Terry Campbell and Doug Collins began demolition of the interior walls in May. When the architectural drawings have been verified by CDBG, bids will be sought for construction of the new clinic. Planners are anxiously awaiting the verification, to get the next phase started.
Since the inception of the plan to purchase the property, the drawings have had to be changed. An increased interest has been shown by healthcare providers to practice at the location, so enough treatment rooms have been added to allow for two physicians and a nurse practitioner. A procedure room is included in the front portion of the building, in addition to the waiting room/intake area, restroom areas, and an employee break room. Lab work and x-rays will be available at the new clinic, giving their medical staff the best resources to do their jobs well.
In the bay area of the building, a COVID testing drive-through area and an infusion area with a separate entry are planned. Although the end of the COVID pandemic has been declared, this area would be useful in case of another pandemic or a local disaster. The CDBG grant was contingent upon these areas being included in the plans. The remainder of the bay area would be used for storage.
In addition to the interior changes, some minor exterior improvements will be done, including moving the new sign that is currently located in front of the clinic on the corner of Myers Street and Highway 137 in Licking.
Planners won’t provide an estimate on the completion time for the new clinic until after construction gets underway, but the funding will expire in June of 2024, so the project has to be completed by that time. The fate of the current clinic building after services have been moved is undecided at this time.
The new TCMH Family Clinic promises more practitioners and more space. It should allow for the provision of services in a more timely manner, and therefore offer more opportunities for people to return to TCMH for their primary healthcare. A new motto recently touted by TCMH personnel is “Quality Care Close to You, Closer to Home.” With the completion of this new clinic, the opportunity will be available for TCMH to provide that care to those living in and around Licking.
The opinions expressed in the following comment(s) are not necessarily the opinions of The Licking News.