Camden eyes more health providers
By Reggie Ponder
Monday, January 14, 2019
CAMDEN — Camden officials believe Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s plans to open a primary care clinic in the courthouse area could draw more healthcare providers to the county.
Chesapeake Regional announced last week the clinic will open this summer in the Camden Towne Center development near the intersection of U.S. Highway 158 and N.C. Highway 343.
The Virginia-based hospital system plans to staff the clinic with a full-time nurse practitioner, a part-time board certified internal medicine practitioner and three full-time employees providing support to the providers.
Camden Economic Development Director Charlie Bauman has said clinic employees’ combined salaries will total about $370,000 a year and Chesapeake Regional’s investment in equipment at the clinic will be more than $360,000.
Bauman told members of Camden’s Economic Development Commission last week that news of Chesapeake Regional’s planned clinic in Camden was well received by county commissioners.
“That was a banner evening,” Bauman said of last Monday’s announcement. “It’s a pretty big event and one of our high-priority business segments.”
The clinic will be housed in about 2,600 square feet in a unit at the Camden Towne Center business development, which is also home to Todd’s Pharmacy, Itza Boutza Pizza, and the Hungry Panda restaurant.
Bauman said the clinic will fulfill one of the goals commissioners have set for the Camden EDC: “to get a doctor here.”
To help recover some of its costs, Chesapeake Regional plans to apply for a business incentive grant from the county. Details about the grant were not immediately available last week.
County commissioners have voted to hold a public hearing on the grant request at their next scheduled meeting.
In other updates to the Camden EDC last week, Bauman mentioned:
* Inner Banks Interiors, an interior design and flooring company located at 175 U.S. 158, plans to host a grand opening on Saturday.
* Work is continuing on Taylor Oaks Restaurant at the intersection of N.C. 343 and Taylor’s Lane.
The EDC also discussed its own membership and leadership at last week’s meeting. Chris Purcell, the board’s current chairman, has indicated he doesn’t plan to continue in that role now that he’s been sworn in as a member of the Camden Board of Education, Bauman said. Purcell is still deciding whether to remain on the EDC as a member.
In addition, Roger Lambertson, who attended last week’s EDC meeting, informed Bauman and EDC members that he does not wish to be reappointed to the board after July.