There are many health care services in Houston County for military, civilians and veterans, though implementation of the Affordable Care Act has changed established insurance options. Visit www.healthcare.gov for information on open enrollment for health care coverage under the national Affordable Care Act. Applicants can explore plans and get personalized help with enrollment at Insure Georgia’s website at www.insurega.org.
See the Military Buyer’s Guide to connect with local hospitals and medical centers, health care centers and health care providers.
COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE CLINICS AND RESOURCES
A community health center or clinic is customarily the place to go for those who have no health insurance or have limited income or ability to pay medical fees. Such clinics accept most insurance and provide affordable, comprehensive health care by well-trained, professional staff. They also serve those who are uninsured and underinsured, and most are open to making sliding scale payment arrangements based on income and family size.
In Warner Robbins, Houston County Volunteer Medical Clinic (www.hhc.org) and CareConnect Health (http://ccthealth.org) both provide low-cost or free care for eligible patients. First Choice Primary Care (www.firstchoiceprimarycare.org) has federally qualified health centers in Macon and Warner Robins.
The Georgia Dental Association website, www.gadental.org, is a useful place to start in finding a dentist. Select “Public Resources” from the home page and click on “Find a Dentist” to find or verify a dentist. The association’s website has information on low-cost clinics in Georgia and suggestions for maintaining healthy teeth and gums as well. You can also seek referrals from people you know who’ve had dental care in the area.
Consider the following to find the best dentist for your needs.
- Are the dentist’s office hours convenient for your schedule?
- Is the dental office close to your home or office?
- How are dental emergencies handled?
- Does the office appear to be clean and well organized?
- Is the staff helpful and friendly?
- What are the dental office’s financial policies and how is insurance handled?
The oral health program of the Georgia Department of Public Health can give you tips for oral health and low-cost dental care. Visit its website at https://dph.georgia.gov/OralHealth.
FINDING A LOCAL DOCTOR
It is important to find a health care provider before an urgent medical need arises. Building trust with a health care provider takes time, so don’t wait until a family member is ill to find a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care provider.
Before you arrive at your new assignment, you can check Georgia Composite Medical Board’s online directory at https://medicalboard.georgia.gov/look-licensee. You can browse for a provider by type or by location. This should give you a preview of the local medical practitioners as well as where you might need to go for specialized care.
Personal referrals from friends or other medical personnel can add to your options.
You can check a doctor’s certification at the American Board of Medical Specialties at www.abms.org. To see if anyone has registered a complaint or taken disciplinary action against the doctor, visit the Georgia Composite Medical Board at https://medicalboard.georgia.gov or call 404-656-3913. When you have selected a health care provider, consider the following.
- When you scheduled your appointment, was the receptionist friendly, prompt and professional? Did he or she take time to answer your questions? Were you left on hold too long?
- When you arrived for your appointment, were you greeted promptly? Was the reception area clean and comfortable?
- Was the staff friendly and willing to answer your questions?
- Did you have to wait long in the exam room before the doctor arrived? Was the exam room orderly and clean, with a chair for a family member?
- When the doctor arrived and introduced himself or herself, did he or she seem rushed or tired? Did you get a good first impression?
- During the consultation, did nurses or assistants pop in and out? Did the doctor seem caring, compassionate and sympathetic to your concerns? Did you feel comfortable revealing personal information? Did the doctor rush through the meeting?
Treat finding a doctor as seriously as looking for a new job or a new home. You want to be comfortable with the person who will see you while you are most vulnerable.
Veterans in Houston County are served within Veterans Integrated Service Network 7 — the VA Southeast Network, with the nearest major medical center in Dublin, about an hour’s drive from Robins AFB. VISN 7 is the third-largest network in the Veterans Health Administration with eight major medical centers and 43 community-based outpatient clinics throughout Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The closest community-based outpatient clinic is in Kathleen, a little over 10 miles south of Warner Robins.
Carl Vinson VA Medical Center
1826 Veterans Blvd.
Dublin, GA 31021 478-272-1210
The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center offers a broad spectrum of inpatient and outpatient health care ranging from primary care to mental health services.
The following is a list of community-based outpatient clinics and the vet center near Robins AFB. For a full list of clinics and other facilities, go to www.southeast.va.gov.
5566 Thomaston Road
Macon, GA 31220 800-595-5229
Macon Vet Center
750 Riverside Drive
Macon, GA 31201 478-477-3813
2370 S. Houston Lake Road
Kathleen, GA 31047 800-595-5229
Georgia Department of Veterans Services
Floyd Veterans Memorial Building
Atlanta, GA 30334 404-656-2300
VA Suicide Lifeline 800-273-8255
The Department of Veterans Affairs improves the quality of life for Georgia’s veterans, military and their families by increasing awareness and access to appropriate federal, state and local resources.
GDVS operates a field office in Houston County:
Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center
1001 S. Armed Forces Blvd., Rooms 107 and 108
Warner Robins, GA 31088 478-218-3905
Because emergencies can happen without warning, it is prudent to know where to go when they happen. Saving minutes in a crisis can mean saving a life. Knowing what services are available, and where, can make all the difference. Visit the following websites for more information on local hospital and medical center services.
Houston Medical Center
1601 Watson Blvd.
Warner Robins, GA 31093 478-922-4281
777 Hemlock St.
Macon, GA 31201 478-633-1000
1120 Morningside Drive
Perry, GA 31069 478-987-3600
Public Health Care
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree St. NW, 15th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303 404-657-2700
The state department of public health is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. The organization’s main functions include health promotion and disease prevention, maternal and child health, immunizations, environmental health, epidemiology, emergency preparedness, emergency medical services, pharmacy, nursing, volunteer health care, vital records and the state public health laboratory. Its website provides information on health topics, services available and a listing of district and county operations.
Local health department clinics offer services including family planning, immunizations, STD screenings, WIC services and well-child checkups. Services vary by location. For a list of local clinics, hours of operation and services, visit www.dph.georgia.gov/district-office-directory. This directory outlines district and county operations with websites that provide information on local clinics. Houston County is served by the North Central Health District at 201 Second St. in Macon. Call 478-751-6303 or visit www.northcentralhealthdistrict.com for more information. Houston County’s local clinic listing is:
Houston County Health Department
98 Cohen Walker Drive
Warner Robins, GA 31088 478-218-2000