(SAVANNAH, GA) Press Conference, April 26, 10:30 AM for Merger and Name Change. Community Health

By April 26, 2007Local NewsWIRE

Community Healthcare Center, Savannah Health Mission merger becoming official Crucial healthcare provider will be known as Community Health Mission (SAVANNAH) – Community Healthcare Center and Savannah Health Mission, Savannah’s essential healthcare organizations for the uninsured, will complete a merger that was initially announced in May 2006. The new organization will be named Community Health Mission (CHM). A press conference will be held Thursday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. to provide more information to the public. It will be held on the lawn of the Chatham County Health Department on Eisenhower Drive; in the event of rain it will be held inside the Health Department. The organizations play a vital role in providing health care to uninsured adults in the Savannah area. Community Healthcare Center and Savannah Health Mission have been working together with a combined board and one executive director, Dr. Miriam Rittmeyer, since May 2006. The merger was planned to better serve a diverse population of patients who are unable to afford health insurance and don't qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. The majority of patients are women working in small businesses or in jobs that don't pay benefits.  The organizations provide nearly 10,000 patient visits annually on a combined basis. The press conference will provide details about providing increased efficiency through Community Health Mission.  Officials will also explain the serious problem of uninsured people in Chatham County: there are about 45,000 uninsured people in Chatham County. Reporters will hear the reason for and importance of the merger, as well as the future of this organization. The former Community Healthcare Center is part of the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) initiative with the model of a free health clinic/center that utilizes retired health care professionals. Currently, the Community Healthcare Center is funded by community donations, grants and Memorial Health University Medical Center (MHUMC), and it receives support for specific programs from St. Joseph’s/Candler.  The center is located at 310 Eisenhower Drive, #5. Community Healthcare Center serves a diverse population of patients who are unable to afford health insurance and don't qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. The majority of patients are women working in small businesses or in jobs that don't pay benefits.   A clinic for the uninsured founded 10 years ago by Dr. Chip Goldsmith, the former Savannah Health Mission treats about 150 people a month.  More than 50 volunteer physicians, nurses and other health professionals donate their time on Thursday nights at the Georgia Ear Institute located on the campus of MHUMC. Savannah Health Mission operates on donations from churches, individuals, small foundations and Memorial Health University Medical Center. The generous financial contributions together with time contributed by retired and volunteer physicians, other medical and technical professionals and daily volunteer office support make it possible to provide quality medical care, education and lifestyle changes for people in need in Chatham County and nearby communities.  If you would like to receive more information, volunteer your services or make a tax-deductible donation, call: (912) 398-4810, Dr. Miriam Rittmeyer, Executive Director of Community Health Mission, or visit the website at www.chcsavannah.org For more information: (912) 398-4810 Dr. Miriam Rittmeyer, Executive Director of Community Health Mission www.chcsavannah.org

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