Nurse County Manager Emily Whitley gives update to Americus City Council

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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The City Council of Americus Georgia met on March 21rst. Emily Whitley, nurse County
Manager for the Sumter County Health Department gave a report on the services they provide
the County.

Whitley detailed the breast and cervical cancer program, also known as BCCP, which provides
breast and cervical cancer screenings and follow-ups. Whitley listed those eligible. “This goes to
low-income, uninsured, or under-insured Georgia women, anywhere from between 40 and 64
years of age.” She mentioned that younger women may qualify if they showed symptoms of
breast or cervical cancer.

Whitley stated that the four registered nurses who staffed the clinic were able to give PAP smears
and make referrals to Phoebe-Sumter for mammograms. She also mentioned the requirements for
HPV screening. “All they have to be is a Georgia resident, be at 200% of the poverty level or
below, they can’t have MEDICAID or MEDICARE or insurance that covers mammograms, and
just between the ages of 40 and 64.” She mentioned that if they developed symptoms at a
younger age, they could still qualify.

Whitley also listed programs for children with special needs, including babies with
developmental issues. The clinic also provides free COVID tests. She also detailed their role in
disease prevention and health education. Whitley mentioned they can print immunization forms
for school, check to ensure children were up to date on their immunizations when going to
school, and provide vaccines. “We have a lot immunizations, not just for children that are going
to school, but RSV, pneumococcal, and COVID vaccines.”

She mentioned the health department’s role in disease prevention and health education. “We love
to share information, educate our community. We just did the teen maze at the high school which
was amazing. We educated so many youth this week on contraception, STDs.” Whitley listed
another service provided by the clinic. “There’s also district clinical services, this is a service for
HIV positive patients. It’s at a discrete location, it’s not at our main health department, but it’s
close by.”

Whitley further detailed preventative measures. “We have free HIV testing at the clinic and we
also have free condoms.” She detailed other measures to fight HIV. “We have our PREP clinic,
which is pre-exposure prophylaxis, and this is also for our patients that do not want to contract
HIV. They can get put on a regimen if they are at high risk or have high-risk behaviors of
contracting HIV. . .and this medication has been proven to prevent the transmission of the HIV
virus to them.” She also mentioned they had a sexually transmitted disease clinic and provided
testing for STDs.