HEFLIN — Cleburne County has a new choice for health care, and it’s not just a “doc in a box” according to Southern Immediate Care owner Dr. Jason Junkins.
Junkins officially opened the business on Monday but held an open house on Wednesday afternoon and invited local officials, friends and other health care providers to tour the facility. The business will offer urgent care services, primary care services, lab testing, X-rays and occupational medicine such as drug screenings and workers compensation.
“We’ll be your family doctor, your urgent care doctor or whatever you need,” Junkins said.
Junkins owns two other Southern Immediate Care businesses in Anniston and Attalla and was searching for another location, which led him to Heflin.
Junkins, who is from Centre, said the demographics in Cleburne County are similar to those of Cherokee County.
“When I was looking at where to go for our next location one of the things that’s been near and dear to me is access to medical care,” Junkins said.
Junkins wanted to locate in an area without a hospital. The hospital in Cleburne County closed years ago, leaving a dearth of health care providers in the area.
Junkins bought an 18,000-square-foot building formerly known as the ARCON building in Heflin, just a stone's throw from Interstate 20, and has spent months renovating it.
“This is perfect for us,” Junkins said, and the building has been renamed the Sterling Medical Complex.
Junkins said the clinic is only using 8,000 square feet, which leaves plenty of room for specialists to locate there.
The business will be open seven days each week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Heflin’s Economic Developer Tanya Maloney said the business is the only urgent care type business in Cleburne County.
According to Maloney there are only three other health care providers in the county and none of them offers any urgent care.
Cleburne County Commissioner Laura Cobb said the new business means that county residents will not have to travel to Oxford, Carrollton, Ga., or Bremen, Ga. for medical care.
State Rep. Ginny Shaver, R-Leesburg, said that she was very excited to have the health care facility open in Heflin.
“Access to rural health care is one of the problems that we have in Alabama,” Shaver said, noting that Cleburne County is one of eight counties in the state which has no hospital within its border.
“It’s very critical for economic development, industrial development and just access to medical care in our rural counties,” Shaver said.