WJTV News Channel 12 - Payday problems at local health clinic

Payday problems at local health clinic

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Canton, MS -

We continue our investigation into why employees at a local federally-funded health clinic didn't get paid on payday.

Employees at the GA Carmichael Family Health Center in Canton are breathing a collective sigh of relief and thanking News Channel 12 for bringing to light a difficult situation.

Thursday, employees finally got the paychecks they were due to receive last Friday.

"I don't feel good about the situation at all," says one clinic employee who didn't want us to use her name on-air.

That situation, according to the clinic's executive director, Dr. Janice Bacon, is that they're simply spending more money than they're bringing in. That's why the paychecks that were due to go out last Friday couldn't go out until Thursday. But Dr. Bacon told employees at Thursday's meeting--and told us over the telephone--she and the Board have a plan so there's always money in the coffers.

"I think the GA Carmichael administration has a plan for recovery," says Kyskie Bolton, who works at the clinic. "And I'm planning on working hard to help them."

For employees like Bolton, helping them might mean working fewer hours. Dr. Bacon says some 40 hour employees might be cut to 32 hours.

"I have children I have to provide for," says the employee who didn't want to be identified. "I'm the only source of income in my house, so I have to do what I have to do."

The clinic is funded by grants from the federal government. This year, they're getting more than $3 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within the US Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA officials tell us they're working with the clinic to fix their finances so they remain good stewards of taxpayer money.

The clinic's executive director couldn't tell us much more about the future of the clinic. Next Friday is payday. Dr. Bacon tells us she doesn't know if workers will get paid on time. She wants to stress the clinic remains open for business and will continue to provide quality service.

We will continue to follow this story.

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