Fair, 84°

New medical plaza opens in Cumming

New medical plaza opens in Cumming

Posted

Comment

CUMMING, Ga. — Dozens of doctors, government officials, family and friends gathered May 31 for the grand opening of the Georgia Highlands Medical Services in Cumming.

GHMS is a nonprofit community health center serving more than 15,000 patients, 76 percent of whom live below poverty level and 51 percent of whom are uninsured, the organization says.

The opening of the new, three-story medical center will allow the organization to expand its facilities, adding confidential intake areas, exam rooms and storage space, among other amenities.

Since its founding in 1979, GHMS has housed itself in a multitude of locations, from a trailer to the newest medical plaza. However, its mission to provide healthcare to the needy has not changed in the years.

“For our Forsyth County residents who remember GHMS from its earlier days, I would assure them that these new facilities the new logo and the new brand reflect a change only in our appearance,” Keith Pruitt, president of the GHMS Board of Directors, said in a press release.

Addressing the crowd at the grand opening, GHMS CEO Todd Shifflet said the organization has come a long way since 1979.

“I think our legacy of service for all these years, in good times and bad, speaks for itself,” Shifflet said. “No doubt this building is a huge milestone.”

Shifflet assured the crowd that the current family practice, the Cumming Family Health Center, will remain open for the community as well.

Pruitt spoke of the impact GHMS has on the community, and he also said that the Cumming Family Health Center will be renovated.

“Hope lives at Georgia Highlands,” Pruitt said.

State Reps. Geoff Duncan and Sheri Gilligan, state Sen. Michael Williams, U.S. Rep. Robert Woodall and Cumming Mayor Ford Gravitt also spoke at the grand opening. Gilligan recalled when Georgia Highlands came to Forsyth County when she was a student at Forsyth County High School.

“I think about where we have come since then, and I am so glad that Georgia Highlands has been here for this community, and as the community has grown, we have been able to watch your efforts flourish,” Gilligan said. “It’s just wonderful. I’m so excited for everybody in the community.”

Duncan said that witnessing the efforts of GHMS a year ago inspired him to write a bill expanding healthcare in the state.

“It was a great opportunity to see how folks could come together in the community to solve problems and to make a positive impact on healthcare,” Duncan said. “I ended up writing a bill that looks at an opportunity to open a hundred additional facilities just like this all across Georgia, as not being a constant solution for the problem that we face here, but to absolutely improve access to healthcare.”

Shifflet said that rather than act as a replacement for the Cumming Family Health Center, the new Georgia Highlands Medical Plaza is just an expansion of GHMS’s goal.

“We’re gonna be here now and long into the future,” Shifflet said. “We are here for you guys.”


View desktop version