Rural Doctor Using Innovative Care to Connect Community

Bamberg County faces the same economic problems that many other rural counties in our state confront. Much of Bamberg’s struggle has to do with its hospital closing several years ago, which not only took away a major part of the job industry but also affected healthcare access.  The few primary care doctors in the area had to step in to take up the slack. One of those doctors was Dr. Danette McAlhaney.

Dr. McAlhaney came to Bamberg right out of medical school, and now owns Bamberg Family Practice. Her practice has grown to the point that they're moving into a larger facility, and this expansion includes telehealth.

Dr. McAlhaney first started using telehealth in an effort to provide more psychiatric specialty care for her patients who otherwise would have to travel long distances, which they couldn't afford or simply didn’t have the time to do.  Since then, she has incorporated other programs into her practice, as well, such as the school-based telehealth program. Through this program, students have access to her throughout the school year.

She has made such an impact in Bamberg that Dr. Rick Foster of the South Carolina Hospital Association calls her the town’s “hero” for her commitment to her community and says that “the key is making sure that she can do everything that she needs to do for her patients locally, if possible, and that’s the beauty of having a practitioner like Dr. McAlhaney being connected to a range of telemedicine and telehealth resources.”