(Editor’s Note: This is the third of a 3-part series on Dr. Donovan “Dino” Beckett and his work to improve his hometown of Williamson.)
WILLIAMSON – The Williamson Health and Wellness Center now has created 43 new jobs and provides healthcare for many residents who did not have access to a medical facility before.
Dr. Dino Beckett said the facility now has an operating budget of $5 million. They have been able to provide healthcare to hundreds of citizens in the Tug Valley area.
“We have had success in getting grants and expanding,” Beckett said of the clinic he directs.
He said they continue to strive to improve the local clinic.
Besides adult medical care, the clinic also provides pediatrics and now dental care.
“We also just got our optometry suite going,” Beckett said of another federal grant they have utilized.
Anyone can come to the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, but it helps those who don’t have health insurance or who are on Medicaid.
In the clinic you also have Behavioral Medicine “That is a pretty good mix,” Beckett added.
“It’s all one stop shopping,” he said of the clinic located on Second Avenue above his own private practice in downtown Williamson.
“We also recently got a $35,000 grant to build our IT (computer) Support system,” the Williamson native said. “As a private practitioner, in my practice I didn’t have access to a lot of things.”
The clinic is geared to those who are under-served. “That is why a lot of the grants have been made available. We try to be very strategic in the way we approach those grants – without trying to compete with local physicians. We wanted it to be inclusive and not compete with local facilities,” Beckett stressed.
“We try to work in that framework – and meet a need in the community,” Beckett said.
Beckett is delighted the clinic has created so many jobs that are needed in the area, as well as providing healthcare to many who did not have access to it before.
“This allows us to reach out. We started with zero money. Vicki Hatfield (Nurse Practitioner) started the Diabetes Coalition. She got a grant for $1,500 and they worked to turn that into a $2.3 million grant. What an amazing success story,” Beckett said.
Beckett said he and his group are working on another big project that will be great for the area, but he couldn’t disclose that at this time.
“We want our young people to realize they can succeed and become entrepreneurs. We have talented young people here and we want to work with them to develop that,” he added. “Hopefully this will produce more jobs and help with the local workforce. This will help our community to grow and prosper.”
“The quality of work we have performed here has created jobs, access to healthcare and access to health foods and also encourages exercise. It is creating more opportunities to help support our community,” Beckett concluded.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)