Co-ops & Community Jobs
Four County EMC gave a big boost to the new Bladen County healthcare facilityBy Renee C. Gannon
Four County EMC is playing a major role expanding healthcare services in Bladen County. The cooperative secured a $300,000 zero-interest U.S. Rural Economic Development loan (REDLG) and added its own $60,000 loan to help finance a new health clinic in Bladenboro. Bladen Healthcare, LLC used the loan to purchase medical equipment and furniture for the clinic. The Bladenboro project will save 10 jobs and create 10 new jobs while expanding healthcare services in the county.
Four County EMC's role was critical to funding the entire $1.4 million project by attracting the additional funding from Bladen's Bloomin' Agri Industry (BBAI), the county's non-profit economic development entity, and other funding sources to purchase a vacant building and renovate it for the new 5,600-square-foot medical facility.
Despite having the second largest population base in the county, Bladenboro has limited access to healthcare services. The funding will help furnish the Bladen Medical Associates clinic's six examination rooms and the waiting room, as well as purchase necessary equipment, including x-ray and ultrasound systems. The radiology service is an essential part of the new facility and will increase access to these services to Bladenboro residents, Bladen County and many Four County EMC members. In addition, the funding will enable Bladen Healthcare to purchase phones and computers so that its physicians, nurses and support staff can effectively communicate and quickly access patient records.