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Lancaster County residents are sure to be affected by the closing of two public health facilities in the area.
S.C. Department of Heath and Environmental Control announced Thursday, Sept. 20, that the Kershaw Health Center and the Great Falls Health Center will both close at the end of the year.
Services at the Kershaw center, located at 3855 Fork Hill Road, will be consolidated into the main Lancaster County Public Heath Department at 1833 Pageland Highway, Lancaster, according to a DHEC media release.
Meanwhile, services at the Great Falls center will be moved to the main Chester County Public Health Department in Chester.
The Swansea Health Center in Lexington County will also be consolidated.
“These small health centers offered only limited services that can be provided more efficiently at other locations,” said Dr. Ernie Bell, health director for DHEC’s Region 3 Public Health, which includes Chester, Lancaster and Lexington counties.
“We regret the inconvenience that this consolidation might cause for a small number of our clients, but we will continue to offer the services at other nearby offices,” he said.
The service changes take effect Jan. 1.
Kershaw Town Councilman Michael Cook said the consolidation will hurt many residents in the southern part of Lancaster County. Transportation will be an issue, he said, especially for some of the elderly.
“It’s going to affect a lot of people in a way they’re not accustomed to,” Cook said. “It will be a tremendous hit.”
Bell explained accommodations DHEC will make between now and January.
“To help make this change as convenient as possible for our clients, we will offer to transfer their medical records to public health offices in a neighboring county if that site would be closer or more convenient,” Bell said. “We will make every effort to ensure the changes have as little impact as we can while helping our clients continue to receive competent and efficient health care.”
For more information about the pending changes or to make appointments, DHEC asks clients to call 1-800-403-4047, which is toll-free.
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152