A small town in Georgia has been without a practicing physician for almost four months – but thanks to former US president Jimmy Carter, that’s about to change.

Since their medical facility closed back in March, the town of Plains has been without any local healthcare providers.

So as a means of serving his beloved hometown, Carter rallied representatives of the Mercer University School of Medicine to open a new clinic in Plains next month, making it the first rural clinic that is managed by the university.

Dr. Jean Sumner, who is the dean of the School of Medicine, told The Telegraph that Carter “was very involved’’ and “he opened the door” for the entire operation.

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According to the university, the Mercer Medicine Plains clinic will offer comprehensive primary care services using local physicians and nurse practitioners as well as specialty care and mental health services through both in-person and telehealth consultation. On-site services will include primary care, internal medicine, OB/GYN, marriage and family therapy and counseling, lab and X-ray.

Telemedicine technology will provide additional access to cardiologists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists and all other specialists offered at Mercer Medicine in Macon.

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“There is no more challenging profession that that of a rural physician, but there is also no more meaningful role in all of health care,” said Dr. Sumner.

“Mercer University School of Medicine only accepts Georgia residents, and all students recognize that our mission is rural and underserved Georgia. Our faculty, staff and students take our commitment to that mission very seriously, and Mercer Medicine Plains is an excellent model of that mission at work.”

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