W.C. Smith Building

Panola College’s W.C. Smith Building on West Panola Street in Carthage.

A low-cost medical clinic wants to set up shop at Panola College, providing medical and behavioral healthcare to the wider community.

Panola College trustees unanimously voted Monday to allow President Greg Powell to negotiate a contract with the Tenaha-based Hope Clinic. The agreement would allow the Hope Clinic to operate out of the W.C. Smith Building.

“We think that it would be a good thing for both our community and our students,” Powell said.

The Hope Clinic opened in Tenaha more than 15 years ago, with Powell noting they have since expanded to Center and San Augustine. The clinic provides low-cost services on a sliding scale.

Powell said they would use unoccupied office space that previously housed offices for the Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences and a small conference room there. In speaking with Laredo College, who has a similar agreement with another clinic, Powell told trustees the school would only have costs associated with utilities and cleaning in relation to the clinic.

“But the great thing is all of our health sciences programs could use it as a clinical site,” he said. “I believe that the sliding scale for the payment is from $20 to $40, and they are proposing to offer medical services and behavioral/mental health services. I think it’s very difficult to find mental health services in Panola County at a reduced rate.”

Other Business

Panola College trustees also heard Monday that they received a “clean” or unmodified audit for their 2018-19 financial statements.

Glenda Hiers, with the firm Alexander, Langford, and Hiers, told trustees the audit had no findings on internal control weaknesses or non-compliance.

“It’s just a very good report from our auditors’ results,” she said.

Trustees also voted to use Alexander, Langford, and Hiers as the firm for their 2019-20 audit.

Reporter

Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.