By: Katie Banks | 9 On Your Side
Updated: December 19, 2012 – 6:58 PM
BETHEL, N.C. – Six months ago, the people of Bethel felt like they had nowhere to turn.
News spread quickly that the only healthcare clinic in town would close by September 1st.
It was a decision ECU’s medical school said would save them money, but residents argued it would cost lives.
When fall arrived, the clinic doors closed as planned, but the town never gave up.
After several meetings, ECU offered to transfer ownership of the clinic to the town for just $1.
And now, there’s new life within its walls.
A team from the Greenville Health Care Center moved in on December 3rd, and runs the clinic like a family practice.
“I remember when Bethel was our thriving town,” says Lee Quinn, a physician assistant who now works at the clinic. “So, my hope is that this can rejuvenate, or be a part of rejuvenating, the town of Bethel so that more people will come here.”
And for long-time patient Ola Perry, seeing the clinic reopen was the answer to her prayers.
“It was a good feeling,” she says, “a good feeling. It was like a Christmas present – a really big, Christmas present.”