D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - A free medical clinic should be rolling into Jackson County Thursday. A large trailer housing the Bethesda Free Health Clinic in D'Iberville will be moving to its new home in St. Martin. The staff seemed pretty excited about the new location.
On Wednesday, a couple of workers were getting ready to hitch-up the double-wide trailer. But first, they have to cut it in half.
"It's very exciting, but kind of scary," said Mary Buffington, Bethesda Free Health Clinic Executive Director. "When you break a building in two, it just makes me very nervous. It won't go back together like it came apart."
The clinic opened on Boney Avenue in D'Iberville in 2011, after another free clinic there closed its doors. Since then, volunteer doctors and nurses have served more than 1,500 people. The clinic provides free medical, dental, and prescription assistance to anyone in need. But it has to move, because the state needs the land to build a new I-110 on-ramp.
"We were very nervous that the clinic may not find a home. So when we got the opportunity to move into Jackson County, we have been thrilled," said Buffington.
The clinic will move right behind the Jackson County Sheriff's substation off Washington Avenue in St. Martin. The director says the new location means more visibility for the clinic.
"We'll be in an area where just driving by on the main strip through north Ocean Springs, we're right there. Here, we're not easily seen," said Buffington. "We think it's going to be an excellent location and we will be able to serve up to maybe twice as many as we've been able to serve here in D'Iberville."
"I'm excited about going to Jackson County, because it's just something we don't have over there. I'm from Jackson County and we don't have anything like this," said Victoria Franklin, who helps with the clinic's prescription program.
The clinic is buying the trailer from the city of D'Iberville for $15,000 and is leasing the land in St. Martin for $100 a year. The clinic is scheduled to reopen at its new location on August 1.