Health Department Reduces Clients

A doctor shortage forces a local health department to limit its services to fewer people.

Many families have been coming to the Taylor County Health Department for years, but because there is currently only one nurse practitioner on staff, half of the families that used to benefit from the services have to go elsewhere.

"Bear," a Taylor County resident, said, "I've been coming here for the past 11 years and I think the services are great for the families in need who can't afford to go to other doctors."

The Health Department has had to restrict the number of patients it can serve to only those families that are most in need.

Stephen Tullos, an administrator for the Taylor County Health Department, said, "In other words, those people without insurance or without the ability to pay, we continue to see. People with insurance, we asked them to find another doctor."

Genetris Jones, a Taylor County resident, said, "I love coming to the Health Department. I just think they need more doctors so they can get you in and get you out. It's very good for the community."

Administration realized clients had to be limited after the full-time doctor resigned at the end of last year, leaving one nurse practitioner on staff with her hands full.

Tiffannee Padgett, ARNP, said, "Extremely busy, challenging as a new grad. We have many patients of all different walks of life, many different diagnoses and reasons for being here."

The department says they want what's best for citizens and are working on getting back full service in the near future. The Taylor County Health Department administrator says there may be another nurse practitioner on staff as soon as July 21.