VALDOSTA -- South Georgia Medical Center's Indigent Care Trust Fund Primary Care Plan for Fiscal Year 2004 was recently approved by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

The funds available through this program will provide medical services for many of the area's uninsured citizens.

Primary Care Plan services may be accessed through the District Health Department, Valdosta City Schools, Lowndes Area Ministries to People, local clinicians and South Georgia Medical Center's affiliated clinics.

The Indigent Care Trust Fund is a federal and state sponsored program which reimburses hospitals for a portion of the costs of providing medical services to persons who have no health insurance coverage. Patients qualify for Indigent Care Trust Fund Primary Care Services if they reside in the service area and have an income that is 185 percent or less than the current Federal Poverty Guidelines.

In 2004, Indigent Care Trust Fund dollars will help to provide a wide variety of community health and wellness primary care programs:

l MedBank -- This project will utilize Volunteers in Healthcare's RxAssist software program to help income-qualified individuals access pharmaceutical companies' patient assistance programs.

l Patient Benefits -- Funds will pay for needed medical services and medications, lab work, medical supplies, and physician office visits, including mammograms and PAP smears.

l School Health -- Funds will be used to pay a nurse's salary and medical supplies to continue school-based clinics in the Valdosta City School System.

l LAMP -- Funds will provide assistance with prescriptions, eye care and dental care.

l Convenient Care South -- Funds will provide non-emergency, walk-in care to include physician and nursing services.

l Convenient Care Valdosta -- Funds will provide non-emergency, walk-in care to include physician and nursing services.

For information on these services and eligibility, please call the District Health Department at 229-333-5290, LAMP at 229-245-7157, or SGMC at 229-333-1040.

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