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Good News Clinics expansion in its final stages

Building adds 2,000 square feet of rooms, offices

POSTED: July 18, 2013 11:54 p.m.

Todd LeBlanc installs a downspout to the roof drainage system at the Good News Clinics. The new addition will add 2,000 square feet of classrooms and offices, which also allows them to convert previous space into a physical therapy room and should be completed in August.

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Gainesville’s Good News Clinics is set to complete construction on its new wing by the third week of August.

The 2,000-square-foot addition has been under construction since late April and will create some much-needed space for the high-volume free clinic.

“The primary purpose for the addition is to provide more space for patient education,” said Executive Director Cheryl Christian.

“We are going to have a large classroom where we will have our smoking cessation, diabetes education and nutrition education classes, but we will also have some small offices that will be used for individual counseling.”

The center will help renew a focus on helping patients improve their current health and create a healthier lifestyle by allowing them to come together and share common struggles. Patients who have successfully coped with a problem, such as obesity or hypertension, will be allowed to attend the classes to offer their experiences.

“Change is hard for all of us. This will encourage and provide the support that patients need to make those changes,” she said.

Several offices will be moved to the center, allowing the previous locations to be converted into a physical therapy space. This is a change of pace for current physical therapists who often have to change locations due to availability, Christian said.

The expansion is named the G. Warren Thomas Patient Educational Center in honor of the late son of longtime clinic supporters Anne and George Thomas. It will cost an estimated $250,000 and has been fully funded through The Tull Charitable Foundation in Atlanta and an anonymous donor.

“We feel like it really will enhance the services that we provide to our patients as well as help our patients make some changes and develop a healthier lifestyle,” Christian said.

Good News Clinics is the largest free medical clinic in Georgia and provides medical care to thousands of Hall County residents every year. To qualify for medical care, patients must live in Hall County, make less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level, be uninsured and ineligible for Peachcare, Medicare or Medicaid, according to it website

It provides medical and dental care, medication through its onsite dispensary and referrals to more than 200 specialty physicians through the Hall County Medical Society’s Health Access Initiative.

Currently 43 physicians, 43 dentists, 15 other medical professionals and 10 physical therapists volunteer their time and expertise at the clinic.

Last year, the total value of services received through Good News Clinics exceeded $29 million.


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