Farmington Medical Center
The Farmington Medical Center provides a much needed serve to a community which has no local doctor closer than Mocksville.
The Farmington Clinic, a nonprofit organization is run by a community board, and organized to provide services that are available in a doctor’s office to Farmington area residents.
The clinic, after being closed for nine years, re-opened its doors in August of 1972 and was the first of its kind in North Carolina. That is, with the community involvement and the head of the clinic being a Family Nurse, Practitioner, Mrs. June Boise.
Dr. B.G. Weathers worked in the Medical Center when it was previously open. The local residents say he was overworked day and night during the time. After Dr. Weathers left, they were unable to find another doctor who was willing to come to “the country.”
During the time the clinic stood idle, the residents kept trying in some way to reopen it. Then came the federal grant made possible through the Northwest Appalachia Regional Commission and the clinic was once again open.
Since re-opening two years ago, the center has been able to take care of the majority of the needs of their patients.
Mrs. Boise added that the “Medical Center” is the best avenue to get to Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
Dr. John Denham of the Bowman Gray Department of Community Medicine visits the center three days each week for about one and a half hours to see any patients recommended by the Nurse Practitioner.
Dr. Denham also functions as a consultant and in cases which may be complicated; he will refer patients to another physician. He visits the “Center” on a regular basis or has someone from the department cover for him.
Dr. Denham says the Nurse Practitioner is capable of handling the majority of patients at the center as well as a medical doctor.
A Nurse Practitioner, he explained, is a Registered Nurse with additional training. Mrs. Boise received this training at Chapel Hill with the first class of Nurse Practitioners.
The number of patients utilizing the clinic has certainly prove worthy of the facilities, as well as keeping Mrs. Boise busy.
During the past year, the clinic records show that 1,227 families have registered for at least one visit, with an average of about 20 patients per day.
Mrs. Boise says that 70 percent of their patients during the past year were seen by appointment. The previous year, she says that 60 percent of their patients were seen without appointments.
Mrs. Queen Bess Kennen of Farmington was honored recently at a tea at the Medical Center for contributing the land on which the center was built.
Mrs. Kennen donated the land in 1960 in memory of the late Dr. J.W. Wiseman, a Farmington MD, whom she never knew personally, but “said that his contributions to this community lived on long after his death.”
The land, Mrs. Kennen says was a part of the original Wiseman plantation. Dr. Wiseman owned a total of over 500 acres in the Farmington community, which included, “Kennen Treat,” Mrs. Kennen’s home.
For her contribution, the Pino-Farmington Community Development Association presented Mrs. Kennen with a silver plaque which now hangs in the reception room of the Medical Center.
The inscription reads: “This Medical Center site donated 1960 by Mrs. Queen Bess Kennen in memory of Dr. J.W. Wiseman, Farmington, MD, 1852-1897.”
Mrs. Kennen told the more than 20 persons on hand for the presentation that the late Dr. Wiseman was “an outstanding pioneer citizen who practiced general medicine 45 years in Farmington with much success.”
“His community interest was an inspiration to those who followed him.”
In conclusion she said, “He left a heritage we could honor in this way.”
When it comes to the needs of the Farmington community, there are enough concerned people to do something about it.
The group reminisced about how the Medical Center came into being. It seems they had met with Mrs. T.H. Nicholson (the former Vada Johnson) at her home, hoping to find available land to build the much needed center.
Around midnight, Mrs. Nichols said they called Mrs. Kennen and got her out of bed. “She very willingly donated this land.”
“They couldn’t find any land to buy,”teased the witty Mrs. Kennen, “so I took pity and gave them a little.”
Most of those attending the reception were original members of the organizing committee. The Farmington Medical Center is a stock corporation James E. Essick explained, with approximately 150 stockholders.
Essie, who is a member of the original board and who is presently serving as president of the corporation, says however, the stockholders do not receive any dividends. It was basically a way of making contributions to a much needed facility.
The Traid Regional Comprehensive Health Planning Council has recently approved the allocation of $108,693 for expanding the work of the Farmington Clinic.
Application for the funds was made by the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, to continue and expand the work of the clinic.
Mrs. Boise says that Mrs. Marie Miller, a Regional Nurse who has been at the clinic, is presently in school in Chapel Hill and will complete the necessary requirements in September to join her as another Family Nurse Practitioner,
More and more people are using the facilities of the clinic, Mrs. Boise says, some come from as far as 15 to 20 miles away. “And another Nurse Practitioner is definitely needed here.”
Members of the original board were: Mrs. O.R. Allen, Mrs. B.C. Brock, Sr., Mrs. T.H. Nicholson (formerly Vada Johnson L. James Essic, Cecil Leagans, D R. Lounsbury, Reid Hauser, Weldon K. Hamic and Lawrence West.
The present board members are Wade Grace, Mrs. Roland West, Mrs. Joe Harpe, William F. Brock Luther West, Reid Hauser, James Essie and Lawrence West.