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By By SHERRY DIGMON
State and county officials joined members of the medical community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the new Escambia County Health Department building in Brewton.
Escambia County Commissioner David Stokes thanked everyone involved, including former and current county commissioners, for their undying support for the new building.
He also thanked Bayshore Construction owner Gerald Redmon and architect Paul Butler.
Charles Watterson, administrator of the health departments in Baldwin, Conecuh and Escambia Counties described the new building in a word. based in Robertsdale
Another feature that makes the new Escambia County Health Department building stand a part from those in Conecuh County and Baldwin County is a dental clinic that includes three examining rooms.
He said the clinic, which is under the direction of the Tri-County Medical Center based in Evergreen, has already obtained a dentist to work at the clinic.
Anyone interested in making an appointment at the dental clinic should contact Marilyn Sawyer at the Tri-County Medical Center (334) 578-1163 until the clinic opens and then they may call health department, Watterson said.
The new building is something area officials have been working on for several years.
Dr. Marsha Raulerson, who was at the ribbon-cutting as a member of the Coalition for Healthier Escambia County and the state committee on public health, said the new building is a dream come true for many people.
She said the member of the Coalition are excited about the new building because it is a center for education which serves a big part in promoting and maintaining a healthy population in the county."
As a member of the state committee of public health, Raulerson said she is thankful for organizations like the Escambia County Commission, D.W. McMillan Trust and W.T. Neal Trust for their continued support of the project.
Watterson said he knows plans have been made and different projects have been looked into for at least 14 years.
The next project was locating an existing building that could be renovated to house the health department, but Watterson said a suitable building could not be found.
Next, the county was grouped in Phase II of a two-phase bond issue that eventually ended after Phase I.
The construction of a new health department building look a long time, but on the bright side the county now has a top-of-the-line building that should serve residents for many, many years, Watterson said.