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Navicent Health & First Choice Primary Care Partner for Benefit of Macon-Bibb Residents

Atrium Health Navicent and First Choice Primary Care (FCPC) are pleased to announce a new partnership with South Macon Family Physicians (SMFP) for the benefit of residents in the south Macon community and the many patients throughout the community served by family practitioner William Brooks, M.D

Since 1975, SMFP has provided family medicine services to the residents of the neighborhoods surrounding Houston Avenue and for patients throughout the Macon-Bibb County area. Recently, Dr. Brooks has taken measures to ensure a smooth transition for his practice and his patients when he decides to retire. Atrium Health Navicent and FCPC, Bibb County's Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), are honored to partner with Dr. Brooks to achieve that goal.

"I am pleased to be able to keep taking care of my patients. While healthcare has gotten much more complicated in some ways, such as computerized records and complex billing rules, some things stay the same. People want to get medical care from someone they know and that knows them, so I appreciate the fact that Navicent and First Choice decided to work with us here at South Macon Family Physicians," said Dr. Brooks.

Dr. Brooks continues to care for his patients as part of the FCPC organization, and will be joined by a nurse practitioner to expand access to care for new and existing patients. His practice will also gain nursing, patient education and technical support from FCPC. In partnership with other FCPC practices, his office will work with Atrium Health Navicent to increase overall wellness, prevent illness and injury, and limit hospital readmissions for patients with health conditions and comorbidities.

"Many of the residents in this area have relied on Dr. Brooks for their care for years, and would have difficulty accessing healthcare outside of their neighborhood following his retirement. Patients are able to walk to this practice, which provides the only physician in the immediate area, and will continue to make this clinic their medical home. Atrium Health Navicent is committed to providing high quality care for vulnerable communities. We are honored to partner with Dr. Brooks and with First Choice Primary Care to ensure continuous access to high quality care for these Macon residents, close to their home," said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, President and CEO of Atrium Health Navicent.

Atrium Health Navicent's decision to partner with FCPC and SMFP is but one facet in a larger plan to improve community health and reduce healthcare disparities throughout Macon-Bibb County. In 2015, the health system conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment within its primary service area to determine top areas of concern to address during fiscal years 2016-2018. One of the top needs identified at that time was access to healthcare services within certain Bibb County neighborhoods.

"Access to health services remains challenging across Atrium Health Navicent's total service area, particularly in low income neighborhoods. Twenty-four percent of central Georgia adults report not having a specific source of ongoing medical care. In Bibb County alone, 43 percent reported they experienced difficulties or delays in receiving needed healthcare in the past year. Closely associated with this finding is the number of residents living below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Even if low income residents qualify for a government sponsored insurance plan, they also have social determinants that impact their access to care, including lack of transportation. By providing access to care in the neighborhood where they live, we ensure their continued health and wellness, and limit the need for hospitalization due to unmanaged conditions," said Elbert McQueen, Senior Vice President of Post-Acute Services for Atrium Health Navicent.

In addition to the clinic located on South Houston Avenue, Atrium Health Navicent also plans to work with FCPC and the Curtis Raines Sr. Foundation to establish a clinic on Napier Avenue, another Macon-Bibb County neighborhood with a high concentration of senior citizens. Atrium Health Navicent will also provide education, health screenings and case management services to residents of Bibb County Senior Living Towers, allowing these customers access to healthcare where they live. The strategic objective is to focus on avoidable hospital admissions and extended periods of wellness, as well as maintenance services provided by Atrium Health Navicent's Healthy Communities Case Managers. These efforts are part of Atrium Health Navicent's commitment to reducing healthcare disparities through its Healthy Communities program.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate the Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Atrium Health Navicent has 830 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only dedicated pediatric hospital; Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent, a rural critical access hospital; Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent, the region's oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Atrium Health Navicent, the area's first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atrium Health Navicent; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit