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April 17--  Mercy Ministries in Lyons is celebrating its tenth year by expanding its service area to Applng, Jeff Davis and Bacon counties.

Clint Hutcheson told Vidalia Rotarians Wednesday that a new clinic is expected to open in two weeks in the small town of Graham, "The Mercy Ministries is expanding to the Graham location because we have several patients from that area who are driving to us here and we want to help them down there.  Also, we want to help each community take care of its own and the partnerships with the Appling County and Jeff Davis hospital is going to help that take place."

rotarymercy(L-R) Rotarian Tres Herin, Club President Angie McDaniel and Clint Hutcheson

The Mercy Ministries is a non-profit that currently serves an average of 500 uninsured, low income patients in Toombs and surrounding counties. Hutcheson says the expansion to Graham has been discussed for some time, "An individual called us and said we have a location for you to come look at.  God had already built a location about five years ago in the Jeff Davis area and it was just sitting there waiting on God's time for it to open.  Since then different businesses and individuals have contacted us and it's just grown and will be a great blessing to everybody down there."

In Toombs County, Mercy partners with Meadows Health in Vidalia and has embarked on a pilot program to reduce visits to the Meadows Emergency Room, "We're so thankful for everything that Meadows does for us and together we're combating ER visits.  There are so many people who are uneducated and think you go to the ER for services when you're not really having an emergency.  We're trying to offer them healthcare and medication for their chronic diseases to keep them out of the ER.  That saves the hospital money and ultimately saves the whole community money.  So, it's a lot of re-education and giving access to care as far as medications are concerned."


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