FMU, Hope Health in talks to bring medical services to downtown Florence

FMU, Hope Health in talks to bring medical services to downtown Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Two forces are coming together to make a lasting impact on health and education in downtown Florence.

Francis Marion University and Hope Health are in talks to bring more medical courses inside of the old post office at Evans and Ibry Streets.

Earlier this year, the university was given the old post office that sits adjacent to a newly-built university medical center. That facility is called the Carter Center.

If everything goes to plan, not only will the post office be transformed into a new medical clinic downtown, it will also double as a learning center for the university’s speech, occupational and physical therapy programs.

Dr. Fred Carter, president of Francis Marion University, said when this project is complete it will help the university give back to the community in an even more prolific way.

“[It is] A downtown clinic that would provide services to folks who need mental health counseling, behavioral health services, which will be provided by our faculty, provided by the Hope Health Practitioners, and then as a learning lab for our clinical physiology students,” said Dr. Fred Carter.

The university is working on securing $8 million for remodeling. The funding is currently in the state’s hands. Those funds are a part of a bond bill which will be up for debate the next coming legislative session.

“The bond bill is in delayed debate in the house. It will be picked up when the legislature returns in January.  Both the Ways and Means Chairman Brian White and the Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman are optimistic that the bond bill will get through this coming legislative session,” Carter said.

When it’s all said and done, the university will offer three therapy programs and a clinic out of the space.

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