Transportation to Capstone Parrish a game changer in Oakman

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 8/18/18

Capstone Rural Health Center is partnering with Oakman officials to help its residents have easier access to health care.Oakman recently lost its only primary health care facility, and just a …

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Transportation to Capstone Parrish a game changer in Oakman

Posted

Capstone Rural Health Center is partnering with Oakman officials to help its residents have easier access to health care.

Oakman recently lost its only primary health care facility, and just a 10-minute drive away, Capstone of Parrish on Highway 269 is stepping up to educate the Oakman community on the services it can provide.

Shannon Williamson, the outreach and enrollment coordinator for Capstone, said she has met with Oakman Mayor Cory Franks about the health care and transportation options Capstone can provide, particularly for the town's senior citizens who may have difficulty traveling.

Williamson said people who register as a patient at Capstone have access to free transportation to the clinic. She said as long as a patient lives within 50 miles one-way of a Capstone clinic, they can call and arrange a time to be picked up and driven to one of their three locations — Parrish, Jasper or Nauvoo. After patients have been examined, they are then transported back home.

"With the elderly, sometimes they don't have anybody around to take them back and forth. Maybe they can't drive or they have a health issue that limits their ability to drive, so the van is invaluable to help them get back and forth to the doctor," Williamson said.

Capstone also provides free transportation on Thursdays to its pharmacy at Capstone in Nauvoo. The health center does not provide transportation to other pharmacies, however.

In addition to primary care services, patients can receive gynecological exams, disease screening, chronic disease management, prostate testing, immunizations, smoking cessation and depression treatment and more.

Williamson said they also offer eye exams two days each month through Lions Site, and for $80 patients can have a dilated eye exam and receive glasses, if needed.

Capstone serves patients of all ages, insured and uninsured. Williamson said there is a sliding fee for uninsured patients, which ranges from $20 to $36 to see a doctor. All Capstone clinics accept Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare and other commercial plans.

Once the new Capstone facility is completed in Parrish, Williamson said they will be able to offer even more services to their clients.

"We can have nutritional and educational meetings there and different outreach meetings," she said. "We want to use that facility as much as possible, even after hours, to have community health awareness meetings, just different things."

Franks recently learned of all the opportunities for wellness at Capstone. He said it will help that a doctor who has worked in Oakman, Dr. Jennifer Miller, will be a familiar face as a new health care provider at Capstone-Parrish.

The elderly in Oakman, particularly, will benefit from Capstone's transportation services, Franks said.

"Their health care is important to all of us, and if transportation is going to be the major factor in them receiving the medical care that they need, then we're going to do everything that we can to make sure they can get to the doctor," he said. 

When the Corner Market comes to Oakman next Wednesday from 8 to 9:30 a.m. to sell fresh fruit, vegetables and other items across from the town's senior center, Capstone will have a booth set up for residents to enter giveaways and receive information about their services. 

"We look forward to working with the senior center in Oakman and doing a lot of different things to reach out in the community," Williamson said. "We try to offer the patients a well-rounded experience at Capstone. ... We continually add to what we do."

Oakman residents who wish to register as a new patient and receive transportation to and from Capstone-Parrish may call (205) 686-5113.