GPS office expansion

Dr. Brent Waters surveys an office area in the old Georgia Physicians South building that will be converted into a waiting room for the expanded practice.

Longtime primary care provider will bring B’shear Family Practice doctors to GA Physicians South

Georgia Physicians South will close their Waycross office (Blackshear Family Practice) next month, transitioning those doctors, staff members and patients to the office here in early July.

The practice is currently undergoing renovations at the Blackshear location’s old office, located adjacent to Georgia Physicians South on E. Carter Ave., and hopes to have the combined practice up and running by July 6. That date could get pushed back a week or two though depending on the speed of construction.

According to a recently released statement, the Waycross office will close July 2 and those providers  — Dr. Josh McCarthy, Dr. David Carstens, Alice Taylor, and Katie Harvell  — will join Dr. Don Waters, Dr. Brent Waters, and Dr. Susan Brickle at Georgia Physicians South in Blackshear.

Blackshear Family Practice in Nahunta will remain open with no staffing changes. Dr. Tannis Alligood will maintain her practice there.

The renovated office in Blackshear will accommodate two physicians with five exam rooms. The old office has housed practice billing offices since Georgia Physicians South moved into their new building next door in 2005.

The Waycross office was open for 24 years, but it’s become increasingly difficult to recruit and keep physicians in the area, Dr. Brent Waters told The Times last week. Those staffing challenges are the primary reason for the closure, he says.

“We had way too much office for the amount of people we had (in Waycross). It’s very hard to recruit people back to Waycross or Blackshear,” Waters said.

Georgia Physicians South has been serving the people of Pierce, Ware, and Brantley Counties since 1977. Dr. Don Waters opened his office here in 1976, was joined shortly after by a partner, and named his medical practice Blackshear Family Practice. Thus began a legacy of quality primary care offered by Dr. Don Waters. Decades later he was joined by his son, Brent, creating the well-known father-son doctor duo in town.

By consolidating the Waycross and Blackshear offices, Georgia Physicians South hopes to provide improved service to the community.

According to their release statement: “Consolidating our offices will enable us to provide better care for the community and allow us to explore new services to provide easily accessible, high quality care to our patients. Some of these services may include extended office hours, an urgent care clinic and a seasonal drive through clinic.”

Once the consolidation is complete, Georgia Physicians South will remain open until 6 p.m. each day and take appointments through the lunch hour. The office will also be able to accommodate more walk-in patients, although scheduled appointments are preferred.

“That’s one of the advantages of having too many people,” Waters says.

“We are leaving Waycross, closing an office, but we don’t want it to be a negative thing,” Waters adds.  

The practice will most likely hold a ribbon cutting or open house once the renovations are completed.

For more information regarding GPS services or the office consolidation call 912-440-4426 or follow GPS on Facebook for updates.