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Bringing specialists to you
– Hamilton Primary Care expands services

By Tami Stevenson

The importance of having good healthcare close to home cannot be overemphasized. To many seniors and those with chronic illnesses of all ages and their families, convenient access to nearby medical care is the driving force in choosing where they live and work in many instances. Although a myriad of rural residents will tell you they will take the slow-paced “rustic life” any day over the “big city” hustle and bustle, there is a price to pay for the luxury of country living. Many rural residents feel fortunate if they only have to travel for an hour or less to see their healthcare providers and specialists.

This can also be a primary factor for future residents that may want to move to a more rural community. Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center’s primary care facilities like Hamilton Primary Care in Jasper are working to put an end to the long travel times while maintaining quality healthcare for a wide spectrum of medical needs.

Hamilton Primary Care Open House L-R: Director of Physician Practices Trace Griffin, Mary Brumbaugh, Radiology Technician, Betty Bridges, ARNP, and Rhonda Sherrod, CEO. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

One of four centers, the Jasper facility recently held an open house to celebrate new changes. Among the newest changes, including a new x-ray machine and new office hours - listed at the end of this article, is their ability to bring the doctors and specialists patients need to see directly to the center. Not having time missed from work to make the arduous trip to Gainesville, Valdosta or Jacksonville to see a cardiologist every week, for example, is a major relief for many North Florida residents as it saves time and money.

“We can bring them here to meet with you so you don’t have to travel all the way to the hospital. The best of the best can come here to see you,” said Shands Market Director of Marketing & Communications Linda Silecchia.

Trace Griffin, Director of Physician Practices, greeted everyone that attended the open house with warm enthusiasm.

From delectably savory to enticingly sweet, mouthwatering appetizers at the Hamilton Primary Care Open House were catered by 11th Street Kitchen of Live Oak. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

He said, “I try to encourage all my staff to treat their patients like family. I want them, as soon as they come in the door, to feel like they’re family and welcome. We appreciate them. We know that’s why we’re here, because they gave us the opportunity.”

Griffin is the administrator over all four primary care centers. Shands Live Oak has one located on the Live Oak hospital campus, another at 1426 Canyon Avenue in Live Oak, in Wellborn the center is located at 4345 E. U.S. Highway 90 (inside the log cabin) and Hamilton Primary Care in Jasper is located at 1150 U.S. Highway 41 North.

Talking with visitors at the Hamilton Primary Care Open House. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Betty Bridges, ARNP, Family Medicine, is the main provider at the Hamilton center. She said she and her staff have enjoyed working with and getting to know Jasper residents and are looking forward to meeting new patients and their families, helping them meet their medical needs.

Silecchia added, “We expanded hours so people can come in after work, they can make appointments. We try to see people the same day and walk-ins are welcome. We try to accommodate the community around their busy schedules with work and family, so that’s why it’s important to have all these locations. You may live in Jasper, but maybe you work in Live Oak. We try to be everywhere to serve everyone. It’s definitely about the convenience of it and we want to bring exceptional healthcare to everyone in our community.”

New office hours at the Hamilton Primary Care Center are: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday - 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday - 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Their phone number is 386-792-7744.