Funding Cuts and Restructuring at Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Inc.

Founded in 1974 as Westside Comprehensive Health Center, Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Inc. (CVCPHC) provides primary health care services to residents in Chatham County and the City of Savannah. At two health centers located at 106 E. Broad Street and 2 Roberts Street medical services are provided to approximately 17,884 residents annually, regardless of their ability to pay.

In January 2011, the Chatham County Commissioners cut health care funding to CVCPHC by 40%, the equivalent of $1.8 million. Due to this dramatic reduction in funding, CVCPHC is in the process of restructuring.

The funding reductions which have already begun are in three phases: Phase 1 15% reduction in funding from January 2011 through March 2011; Phase 2 25% reduction in funding from April 2011 through June 2011; Phase 3 40% reduction in funding taking effect July 1, 2011 and continuing the entire fiscal year, through June 30, 2012.

Mr. Leon Burton, Executive Director, reports that the Board of Directors of CVCPHC approved the following cost reduction measures: 1. Reducing the hours of operations at the health center on East Broad Street from seven (7) days totaling eighty-eight (88) hours a week, to six (6) days totaling forty-nine (49) hours a week. The new hours of operation at the East Broad Street location starting May 16, 2011, are as follows: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday and Thursday

8:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturday

9:00 am to 2:00 pm 2. For the first time closing all facilities on the following holidays: Memorial Day; Fourth of July; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving Day; the Day after Thanksgiving; Christmas Day; the Day after Christmas; New Years Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday; and St. Patrick’s Day. 3. Astaff reduction by eliminating twenty-one (21) full-time staff positions within the next ninety (90) days. 4. Using cash reserves which had been set aside for needed equipment replacement, to defray the operational shortfall. This will prevent additional staff layoffs and the closing of a health care facility.

On a brighter note, operating hours at the 2 Roberts Street facility are unaffected and will remain Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. CVCPHC will continue its plans to expand into a new facility located in the Yamacraw Village neighborhood. This site once operational will also be open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and is a replacement for Hitch Village location which was demolished in 2010.

Mr. Burton states that the Board of Directors and management team of CVCPHC will continue the goal of providing quality comprehensive health care services that are accessible and affordable to every resident of Chatham County, regardless of their ability to pay.

He further states that during these trying economic times Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Inc. is committed to working with every member of the Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council to ensure there are no gaps in health care services to constituents, due to the reduction in funding.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Mr. Leon Burton, Executive Director, please call Ms. Sandra Collins at 912-527-1005 or email Ms. Collins at

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