Growing need for more healthcare in Wakulla County

Posted at 8:07 PM, Sep 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-06 20:07:39-04

Wakulla County's population in April 2010 was just under 31,000. It rose by nearly 3,000 over the next decade. As of July 2021, its grown by an additional 1,000. Of the over 34,000 residents, 14% under 65 years old do not have health insurance.

Maggie Rose has lived in Crawfordville for 50 years. She said Wakulla County needs more healthcare options because she oftentimes has to drive to Tallahassee to get the care she needs. "I have bad health myself and need care that I'm really not getting so you know if it was closer I could get better and more care," said Rose.

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare is looking to decrease help meet this need. Executive Director for TMH Physician Partners Rob Moss said they are looking to open a walk-in urgent care in Wakulla County. After seeing an increase in same day appointments, he believes now is a good time to expand their services to meet resident's needs.
"Our hope is that we can provide a facility for the folks of Wakulla County to go to being close to home and much less expensive," said Moss.

Moss said TMH is looking to acquire land between the Walmart and Publix for a 12,000 square foot facility. The new building will provide urgent care services, rehab and visiting specialists. Moss hopes the new location will open sometime next year.

Courtney Davis is a nurse practitioner at Forward Wellness in Crawfordville. She said that Wakulla County currently has a ratio of 3,893 citizens for every primary care provider...compared to the national benchmark of 631 citizens for every PCP, resulting in limited access to primary care services to those living in the country. Davis believes this disparity will continue to increase as the population grows.

Moss said when the new facility opens, it should fill around 40 positions.