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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Great State Alabama is holding a free Dermatology Clinic next Friday in Rockford for area residents as part of a series of rural clinics.
The free Dermatology Clinic will also offer free skin cancer screening. The clinic will be held at the E-911 building, located at 66 Communication Drive in Rockford, October 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the clinic who may be able to benefit from it. Walk-ins are welcome, and appointments can be made online at https://square.site/book/LK8X9PZPV50Y7/great-state-free-health-clinic.
Appointments will take approximately 10 minutes. The event is being hosted by the government of Coosa County, according to Great State Alabama.
This free clinic will give Coosa County residents and others the opportunity to have skin concerns checked for potential skin cancer or other dermatology issues.
Great State is a 501(c)3 organization that “endeavors to support, advocate and drive improvement in the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalized men, women and children.”
To help provide dermatology and family medical services in under-served areas, Great State Alabama is conducting a Great State Rural Clinic tour through a series of single day events across the state. These clinics provide a range of free examinations, diagnosis and treatments.
Great State Alabama reports that in 65 of Alabama’s 67 counties there is a shortage of doctors and that Alabama ranks fortieth in the country in the number of physicians per capita.
Additionally, the organization recognizes that an issue in the state is the lack of access to quality healthcare in specialty fields, such as dermatology. The organization notes that specialists serving rural and under-served areas is rare, which results in patients “ignoring pressing medical issues such as advancing skin cancers and systemic signs of skin disease.”
According to the “Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology,” the geographic density of dermatologists per 100,000 people indicates that eight areas of Alabama have zero access to nearby dermatologists, more geographic gaps than any neighboring southeastern state.
This information and statistics are what spurred Great State Alabama, a public charity organization, to provide dermatology clinics in under-served areas.
Clinics may be specifically targeted at recognizing and diagnosing potential skin cancers, or they may be general dermatology clinics by a board certified dermatologist, depending on the need of the area.
As Great State grows in capacity, it hopes to also provide free clinics in other specialties, as well as family medicine, with the cooperation of local partners and physicians.
Participation in next Friday’s free clinic is encouraged and was mentioned at the County Commission meeting Tuesday evening to encourage participation so that possibly more such clinics can be held locally in the future.
For more information on Great State Alabama or to keep up with other future rural clinics, visit http://greatstatealabama.org.