Mercer Medicine holds ribbon-cutting for new Jekyll Island rural health clinic

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Group cutting ribbon at Mercer Medicine Jekyll Island
Pictured are MUSM student Matthew Corn, Rep. Steven Sainz, Sen. Blake Tillery, Sen. Mike Hodges, Dr. Jean Sumner, Rep. Matt Hatchett, Rep. Rick Townsend, President Bill Underwood, and MUSM student William Clifton.

JEKYLL ISLAND – Mercer Medicine held a ribbon cutting on Sept. 29 for the launch of its newest rural primary care clinic, which opened Sept. 18 in the Jekyll Island Beach Village at 11 Main Street, Suite 201.

Mercer Medicine is the primary care practice and faculty practice of Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) which operates a multi-specialty medical complex in downtown Macon and rural health clinics in Plains, Peach County, Clay County, Putnam County, Harris County and Taylor County.

“We are honored to partner with the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA), the Jekyll Island community, other health providers in the Glynn County area and the state of Georgia in our effort to bring high-quality care to rural Georgia,” said MUSM Dean Jean Sumner, M.D., FACP. “Mercer University School of Medicine is committed to improving health status throughout rural Georgia by bringing quality care where it is needed. This is our mission and these clinics help those who are in communities without ready access to the care they need.”

JIA Executive Director Mark Williams spoke at the event, saying “I’m glad to stand in front of this clinic today to represent Jekyll Island and share how fortunate we are to be able to provide service of this kind to those who live here, work here and visit here.”

Mercer Medicine Jekyll Island operates in a 4,534-square-foot, second-floor space and offers walk-in and scheduled appointments for high-quality primary care provided by its board-certified family physician, Dustin Horne, M.D., and staff. Other services include X-ray, point-of-care lab testing, immunizations and telehealth services. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with extended hours during the summer months. The clinic serves patients ages 5 and older.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to serve the residents and visitors of Jekyll Island,” said Dr. Horne. “I am thankful to Mercer University, the JIA, the state legislature and countless others who have played pivotal roles in bringing this much-needed medical clinic to this area.”

Dr. Horne earned his medical degree from Mercer School of Medicine, where he was selected for the Nathan Deal Scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding students who are committed to practicing primary care medicine in medically underserved rural areas of Georgia. Completing his residency in family medicine at East Tennessee State University, Dr. Horne most recently practiced primary care at the Harbin Clinic in Calhoun, Georgia.

“I am proud to be a part of and continue Mercer University’s mission of providing quality care to rural and underserved areas,” Dr. Horne added. “My staff and I will work hard to provide quality primary care for residents and visitors as well as offer sick visits and walk-in visits for immediate needs. I look forward to working with the community and am excited by the prospect of pioneering a new clinic on the island.”

Pictured: MS-2 Matthew Corn, Dr. Jean Sumner, Taylor Carver, Susan Conway, President Bill Underwood, Bentley Lauren Klein Smith, FNP-C , Dr. Doug Brewer, Dr. Dustin Horne, Ben West, and MS-2 William Clifton. Photo courtesy Jekyll Island Authority

In addition to Dr. Sumner, Williams, and Dr. Horne, those who spoke at the ribbon-cutting included Mercer President William D. Underwood, Mercer Medicine Chief Executive Doug Brewer, M.D., MUSM Chief Financial Officer Ben West, President and CEO of Southeast Georgia Health System Scott Raynes, along with many elected officials.

Mercer Medicine opened its first rural health clinic in Plains in July 2018. Building off that successful launch and in order to continue delivering on its commitment to meet the health care needs of rural Georgians, Mercer has since opened rural health clinics in Clay County, Putnam County, Harris County, Taylor County and opened its seventh such clinic on Jekyll Island on Sept. 18. In addition to provision of care, these clinics provide an educational component for rural physicians, management services and assistance in the placement of future physicians.