When the congregation of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church purchased the site of the former North Shelby School on Northside Drive, they did so with the intention of creating a place that could better serve the needs of the community.

In December, through a partnership with Atrium Health, the church was able to launch the first of these investments – a community-based virtual health clinic.

The clinic, run by Atrium Health employees, allows for virtual check-ins with doctors. During visits, patients talk to doctors via a tablet, and clinic rooms are equipped with tools that can read and transmit heartbeats, blood pressure and other information to doctors.

“The majority of things you would go to a doctor for can be handled here,” said Lamont Littlejohn, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church. “Things like fevers, colds, allergies, you can get a COVID test here. All those common things that people might need to see a doctor for but might not be able to afford to go to. doctor.”

Since opening in late December, the clinic has helped more than 100 people get to see a doctor, according to Littlejohn.

The clinic is the first stand-alone community clinic of its kind in Cleveland County, but similar clinics available at some schools have proven effective, especially for people who lack transportation or the time to get to a doctor.

Maritza Brooks and Tomara Thernize demonstrate the tools used at the Mt. Calvary Community Center Virtual Clinic.

At a ceremony celebrating the clinic on Wednesday, Carrie Philbeck, mother of several children, including one who has a skin condition that makes her skin so fragile it can tear or blister at the slightest touch.

Ahead of the opening of a virtual clinic at her child’s school, Philbeck said her child would miss days of school both due to emergency room visits and hospital stays for relatively minor issues. .

“Having something like this helps us avoid emergencies. Being able to call and talk to someone is just easier than going to the hospital, especially when you have other kids at home.” , she said.

Littlejohn said he hopes to see the clinic expand to offer more services in the coming months. Mt. Calvary is also exploring what other services it can offer at the community center and plans to launch new community-focused programs later this year.

The community clinic is available by appointment. To book an appointment or learn more about the clinic, call 704-487-7784.

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