ECHA celebrates groundbreaking of new urgent care clinic

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, June 29, 2021

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Escambia County Healthcare Authority (ECHA) officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the new urgent care clinic Tuesday morning.

The new clinic will be located on Highway 21 near Interstate 65, right across from Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore.

Atmore Community Hospital Administrator Brad Lowery said the hospital and healthcare community are excited about this milestone.

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“There’s a lot of support that went toward this project,” Lowery said. “We’re excited to take one step toward improving the healthcare of Escambia County, Ala.”

According to Atmore Advance archives, the clinic will offer increased access to care for all citizens of Atmore and surrounding communities; modern facility and equipment; enhanced wellness programs and employee health programs; and easy and safe access to healthcare.

ECHA Chairwoman Debbie Rowell said the board is excited to kick off construction.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the community,” Rowell said.

Mayor Jim Staff said the new urgent care clinic will not only showcase the county, but Atmore as well.

“Everybody that has financially participated in this knows that it has been a long uphill battle,” Staff said.

Health Care Program Advisors is advising the ECHA on the project; Johnson Development is the project manager; Goodwyn Mills Cawood is the architect; Hoar Construction of Birmingham is the construction lead; United Bank is the lending institution; and local city leaders collaborated on the project, according to Advance archives.

Former ECHA CEO Chris Griffin said the project wouldn’t have come together without the whole community.

“I’ve been fortunate in the last four to five years to be involved in the Atmore end of the county,” Griffin said. “You can see what can happen when everybody comes together. I think you’ll be proud of what you’ll have.”

Current ECHA CEO Jeff Booth said the authority’s strategy for moving the clinic to the new site caters to their expansion of healthcare to residents.

“Healthcare is one thing we take very seriously,” Booth said. “We also want to use this initiative to offer wellness and screening and so on.

“We’ll continue to deliver the highest quality of healthcare posssible, but we’ll also expand our efforts to reach more in our community and provide more front-end services,” he said.

Booth said construction of the clinic will conclude at the end of March 2022.

ECHA boardmembers, community stakeholders, architects and city officials were present for the groundbreaking.