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A committee of community volunteers has been working steadily over past months on the establishment of a free community medical clinic for Anderson County. The project originated in 2009 within the Health and Nutrition Committee of the organization known as Anderson County Community of Promise. Community of Promise, which was organized in 2002, is made up entirely of volunteers who share the goal of identifying and addressing human needs within the community.
The members of the Health and Nutrition Committee saw a problem in the community that needed to be addressed. That problem was a significant number of adults with chronic illnesses who were not receiving medical care because they lacked medical insurance. The solution to the problem, as the committee saw it, was to establish a free clinic that would be created and staffed entirely by volunteers. Their vision was to provide free medical care to adults who suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels.)
Since 2009, many people have come forward to lend time and talents to the project and good progress has been made toward a goal of opening the clinic sometime late this fall. An early break for the clinic occurred when the board of directors of Open Hands Food Panty provided space for the clinic within the pantry’s facility at 1111 Industry Road in Lawrenceburg.
Shortly after that, federal funding found its way down to the local level through what started as a federal grant for health equity from the Department for Health and Human Services in Washington. These federal dollars were intended to, among other things, increase awareness of the significance of health disparities, strengthen leadership for addressing disparities, and improve health outcomes for targeted populations.
Approximately $9,000 in grant funds were used within the space provided at the food pantry to construct three exam rooms, a waiting room, lavatory and an office. The $9,000 also provided for the purchase of a copier/printer.
Another boost in moving the clinic forward occurred with the donation of three exam tables and waiting room furniture.
The community clinic has also moved forward by achieving a number of administrative goals. A five-member board of directors has been established, and the clinic is now officially known as Anderson County Community Medical Clinic, Inc., after establishing articles of incorporation with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Application has been filed with the IRS for 501©(3) tax status, and when the application is approved, the committee will move forward with fund raising plans.
Medical professionals throughout the community have stepped forwarded during the planning process to volunteer their services to staff the clinic when the doors are open. These professional include physicians, RNs, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.
Although much has been accomplished in the clinic project, much work remains to be done and the continued support of the community is greatly needed.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help with this very worthwhile community project is welcome and encouraged to call the Anderson Community Education office at (502) 839-3754 for more information.
Darlene Urban is a guest columnist for the Anderson News.