Dorchester County approved to submit $1 million grant application for future urgent care facility in St. George

May 11, 2022

On May 2, 2022, the Dorchester County Council approved the filing of a grant application to the USDA for $1 million to help fund the future urgent care facility which will serve residents in the St. George and surrounding areas.

In March of 2019, County Council adopted the Dorchester County Strategic Plan which prioritized the expansion of public health services to the rural part of the county. County staff identified an 8,200 square foot building on the corner of Sears Street and NW Railroad Avenue that was constructed in 2001 and used as the former female detention center. The county contracted with SMHa, Inc. who conducted a feasibility study that confirmed the conversion of the space into an urgent care facility and provided the county a schematic floor plan and estimated budget.

County staff then conducted a survey with area healthcare providers and medical establishments in the St. George area which identified the following needed services: a lab for bloodwork and diagnostics, radiology room for X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, and an on-site pharmacy that includes medication dispensing, telemedicine, COVID testing, and vaccinations.

Previously the Dorchester County Council authorized the use of $1 million under the American Rescue Program Act for the facility. With Council’s approval on Monday, May 2, the County is now authorized to submit a $1 million grant application to the United States Department of Agriculture under the Emergency Rural Healthcare Program.

“We are very excited at the prospect of having an urgent care medical facility in St. George,” says Councilwoman Betty Collins. “It is definitely needed, and this facility will provide state of the art healthcare and medical services that will save the lives of many.  It will also greatly improve the quality of life for residents in the St. George area and for the surrounding Towns and communities.”

“For years, residents in the rural part of the county have had inadequate access to healthcare, so we are more than thrilled that additional funding is possible through this USDA grant. Providing easy access to quality healthcare remains a priority for County Council, and we will remain committed to giving the community this much needed resource,” says Councilwoman Harriet Holman.