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      Little River Medical Center offering ObamaCare guidance

      A nearly $200,000 grant is helping transform staff members at the Little River Medical Center (LRMC) into experts on President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment for the healthcare overhaul starts on October 1st.

      "Those individuals will be on hand. We have five sites here in Horry County and our staff will be available to assist people with enrollment," said Celeste Bondurant-Bell, Director of Community Development at LRMC.

      Thanks to the funding, LRMC has been able to hire three new employees and train four more as Outreach Educators, experts who can walk people through the Healthcare Marketplace.

      The new staff members will be especially helpful for those without internet access or those who have trouble working online. With so much information availible, in-person help will benefit everyone. "Face to face contact is extremely important also working with a source that's reliable and trustworthy is extremely important," said Bondurant-Bell.

      After hours of online training, the Outreach Educators are prepared to help people at community events, and those who come to LRMC. Staff members have already begun reaching out to LRMC's 23,000 patients, nearly half of whom are uninsured.

      Grants of $83,805 and $155,899 were awarded to Health Care Partners of South Carolina, INC. of Conway and Hopehealth INC. of Florence respectively.