News

School of Medicine Alumnus Making a Difference in Rural Community

01/10/11

Dr. Challie Minton

Dr. Challie Minton

North Brunswick, NJ – January 10, 2011 – For Dr. Challie Minton, a 2006 graduate of Ross University School of Medicine and family practice physician at Northwest Medical Partners in Mt. Airy, NC, helping those in need is “the right thing to do” and is something he has been doing for his whole life—first in the Navy as a paramedic, then at Ross where he was one of the student founders of the Salybia Mission Project, and now in his hometown where he recently opened a clinic for uninsured patients.

Dr. Minton decided to start the Lowgap Community Health Center, which opened its doors in June of 2010, to fill an unmet need in the community.

“The main offices of my practice are in the rural city of Mt. Airy, but I live 40 miles away, and in my community there is no access to healthcare with the exception of first responders within those 40 miles. And even if there was a healthcare facility in the area, most people wouldn’t be able to go because the majority of the population doesn’t qualify for medical benefits. So, I decided to open the clinic. I can’t fix the entire healthcare system, but I can make a difference in my own backyard.”

Dr. Minton noted that he knew he could open a basic, yet functional clinic because he had treated patients effectively with limited resources both in the military and in Dominica.

“You don’t need all the fancy infrastructure,” he said. “I took over a space in the Community Center and made an exam room out of it with a waiting area. I probably do more than most family practitioners ever dream of, but at a very reduced cost.”

Dr. Minton works at the clinic on a volunteer basis one afternoon a week with a nurse practitioner. His patients pay on a tiered system—they can pay an annual fee of $150, which includes an initial visit and then pay $25 for each additional visit (excluding lab work), or they can choose to pay a flat rate of $50 per office visit. No patient is ever turned away due to an inability to pay, however.

“If someone doesn’t have the fee, they simply pay what they can afford,” he explained. “But everyone has to pay something, even if it’s only $1. The clinic is already self-sustaining.”

According to Dr. Minton, the community response has been fantastic.

“We’re able to treat people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to healthcare and the community has gone out of its way to give back to us. We’ve had people volunteer to do everything from electrical work to cleaning and painting,” he said. “It’s been a very rewarding experience for everyone involved.”

About Ross University School of Medicine
Ross University was founded in 1978 and is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. Located in Dominica, West Indies, the School of Medicine places more graduates into US residencies annually than any other medical school in the world and has clinical education centers in Miami, FL and Saginaw, MI. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.

Ross University’s administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ. For more information about Ross University, visit www.RossU.edu or call 732.509.4600/877.ROSS.EDU.

 

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