Cliff Cranford, MD., CPM Advanced Surgical Specialists
Coweta Samaritan Clinic is connected to many generous local healthcare providers who extend our service far beyond primary care. Our interview with CPM Advanced Surgical Specialists’ Cliff Cranford, MD, is one in a series of conversations with the network of medical specialists who go the extra mile to give high-quality services to our patients.
Q. We hear from our patients how much it means to be cared for by the Coweta Samaritan Clinic and by you. What does it mean to you to be able to help these patients?
A. Coweta County has historically had a large percentage of people who aren’t adequately insured. Now, care for people without adequate insurance is more organized, and we have Kay Crosby and the Coweta Samaritan Clinic to thank for that. We hate to think of people falling through the cracks, and we hope working with the Clinic helps avoid that.
Q. How important is the Coweta Samaritan Clinic in the whole scheme of healthcare in our county?
A. I think it’s very important. Almost on a day-to-day basis, we’ll encounter someone who doesn’t have insurance. A patient who qualifies for care at the Coweta Samaritan Clinic can get the day-to-day basics of diabetes care, blood pressure control, things you can prevent.
Q. Speaking of prevention, you’ve provided colonoscopies for a number of Clinic patients. What’s the outcome in savings from prevention?
A. When we find and remove polyps during a colonoscopy, we’re preventing that person from having to go through colon cancer. But it’s important to the healthcare system too. If we strain the system, services begin to get lost. If we can prevent illnesses like colorectal cancer, we can devote our healthcare dollar to prevention like prenatal health care and colorectal or breast cancer screening. Keeping the system healthy is important, and the cost of things is important. If we protect the system, we also protect the people. The system is the patients, but if we don’t protect them, we start to lose lives.
Q. What would you say to other local physicians about volunteering for the Clinic?
A. The people who contribute to the Coweta Samaritan Clinic are contributing tremendously to our county and our healthcare system. The question is: Do you want to see these people in the hospital when they get really sick, or do you want to see them in a preventive or ongoing care situation and protect them and keep them well? Do you want to rescue them or keep them from needing to be rescued?