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By Danna Zabrovsky
Staff Writer, The Oldham Era
A group of local churches plan to pool resources in order to revive a community clinic for uninsured residents.
The Oldham County Ministerial Association, which has served the needy for 20 years, decided April 13 to create a non-profit organization to serve as a parent foundation for the new clinic.
A plan to start a clinic has been in motion since the Community Care Clinic in La Grange, run by HDB Service Group, closed in February.
Susan Arnold, director of pastoral care at Baptist Hospital Northeast, and a member of the ministerial association, said there is a great need for the clinic in Oldham County. She and four other representatives of the association make up the steering committee that will work to establish the non-profit.
“Despite the fact that we are a very fortunate community, there are pockets of folks that live here that work very hard, but do not make enough money to afford insurance, do not have the proper health coverage they need,” she said. “When this need arose, (the ministerial association) saw this as a way that they could work with and collectively help the community.”
Mercy Medical in Shelbyville, an established clinic that operates under the non-profit parent organization Operation Care, will serve as a model for the clinic’s organization and funding, said Rick Davidson, executive pastor at La Grange Baptist Church.
“In lieu of Operation Care, there would be the Oldham County Ministerial Association, parent of the Hope Health Clinic,” Davidson said. He hopes to get the clinic up and running by September, but said none of the fine details, including the proposed name for the clinic, are set in stone.
Marsha Biven with Baptist Hospital Northeast put together a community task force that looked for ways to open a new clinic after the Community Clinic closed.
The new clinic will be in the same location as the old one, in a 2,400 square-foot doctor’s office behind the hospital, she said.
The office has six exam rooms, a lab, waiting rooms and an office area, and will be equipped with medical supplies from the hospital. Baptist Northeast will manage garbage pick-up and disposal of medical waste.
Rent is free, though the clinic may have to pay for electricity, Biven said.
At the old clinic, two hospitalists volunteered to provide medical care once a month, and a staff of three nurse practitioners allowed the clinic to open a few nights a week, at most.
Biven said the ministerial association plans to reach out to local churches to find a larger base of retired doctors and nurses.
The new clinic will be different from its predecessor, said Biven, who was on the committee that helped start the first clinic before HDB stepped in.
“Our mistake was that we didn’t garner the broad base of community support that we have this time, and that we didn’t raise a lot of money up front,” she said.
The plan is to raise $100,000 before the clinic opens, which would give the operation a financial cushion, and allow the organization to hire an administrator.
The ministerial association may start a fund through the Oldham County Community Foundation, “a vehicle for donors to accomplish their philanthropic dreams,” which could collect donations before the non-profit is established.
The ministerial association will then look to the community, businesses, civic clubs, residents and churches for funding, Davidson said. Those interested in donating to the clinic may contact Rick Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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