Hope Clinic of Pike County Coming in 2014

I’d like to thank the Southern Ohio Pastors Coalition for allowing me the opportunity to share with you some exciting news that should be of interest to the body of Christ in our area.

Southern Ohio will soon be home to a faith-based medical clinic that will offer free medical services to the uninsured residents of the greater Pike County area.  Since earlier this year, the Hope of Clinic of Pike County has progressed from being just an idea to being part of a 501c3 entity with an anticipated start-date sometime in the second or third quarter of 2014.

Our neighboring county, Ross, opened such a clinic in early 2012, and the Ross County Hope Clinic has been a mentor to us as we have worked to get a clinic started in Pike County.  They have shared an abundance of information regarding what has and has not worked in developing this kind of operation, and it has greatly reduced the guesswork in starting a new clinic locally.  We thank God for the blessing that they have been in assisting us.  Although the Hope Clinic of PikeCounty will be operating as a separate entity from the RossCounty clinic, we owe everyone there a great debt of gratitude.

The need for such a clinic in Pike County was impressed earlier this year upon Valerie Good, a Waverly, Ohio resident, who is currently attending the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   She recognized that PikeCounty is vastly medically underserved and felt compassion toward those citizens who weren’t receiving adequate care due to lack of insurance and financial means. According to the latest figures available from the Ohio Department of Health, 15.1% of families in PikeCounty have incomes below the poverty level.  This is almost double the amount of families below the poverty level for the state as a whole (8%).  Additionally, according to the most recent available statistics, of the residents living in the county, 13.7% of adults 18 years and older did not have health insurance. This equates to a little over 4,000 uninsured adults. Also, the doctor to patient ratio in PikeCounty is very low.  According to the latest statistics available (2000), PikeCounty has 7.9 physicians per 10,000 people.  Contrasting this to the state ratio of 25.4 physicians per 10,000 people, you can see that there is a clear deficiency. Knowing that a free local clinic would help to address some of those deficiencies, Valerie began to reach out to others, and the nucleus of the clinic was formed.

Not only is there a large need for a free medical clinic, but there is also a great need for it to be faith-based, as I’m sure the readers of this blog will be well aware. The Hope Clinic has made it a goal to approach health care in such a way that it not only considers the physical, mental, social and emotional needs of patients as paramount, but also their spiritual needs. One way this will be provided is through prayer services, which will be offered to each patient as part of their clinic visit and we will have the freedom to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ to many who come through the clinic doors each week.  Additionally, the clinic provides opportunities for the members of the body of Christ to serve others in a tangible way, as volunteers, thus allowing us to love and serve as scripture commands.

God has been faithful in clearing many roadblocks that we have faced when trying to get a clinic started from scratch. As I’ve already mentioned, He first provided us a wonderful resource in the RossCounty clinic. Also, early in the planning stages, the Pike County General Health District generously offered us clinic space. They have a modern facility, located just north of Waverly on US Route 23. The Health Department has gone above and beyond to help make the Hope Clinic a reality in our county, and we thank God for them.  

God also provided our non-profit status much sooner than we originally anticipated.  The leadership team for the clinic had began to initiate the paperwork for obtaining a 501c3 status when they were approached by the founders of an existing, unused, non-profit organization that needed to be activated soon, or would potentially lose its government status with the IRS. These founders offered their NPO to the Hope Clinic, which reduced the time in receiving an approved NPO status from as long as a year and a half to merely a month. Again, we thank God greatly for making such an opportunity available to us.

The Hope of Clinic Pike County is tentatively slated to open in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2014.  It will be open one night per week, seeing patients for a three hour time frame.  The clinic will provide basic medical care, covering such conditions as follows:  ear infections, sore throats, UTIs, diabetes, bronchitis, high blood pressure, minor burns, conjunctivitis, along with many other basic medical conditions. Additionally, social services, prayer services and a take-home hospitality meal will be made available to all patients.

Services that the clinic will not provide include: narcotic dispensing, prenatal care, vaccinations, advanced lab work and X-rays, and emergency services.

A clinic of this scope requires many volunteers with a variety of skill sets in order to operate successfully.  Of course, doctors and nurses are needed, but we will also need people to assist with registrations, food preparation, prayer support, child care, technical support, weekly setup and teardown, among other things.  If you, or any members of your local fellowship (18 years+), may be interested, we have a volunteer form on our website, www.hopeclinicpike.org, where you can sign up as a potential volunteer.  Once the clinic reaches the point where we need volunteers in a more tangible manner, we will contact you regarding training. In addition to a required 3-hour training session, volunteers must also pass a background check, take a TB skin test, and be current on immunizations.  Junior Volunteers between the ages of 13 and 17 will be able to assist in certain tasks at the clinic as well. More information will be posted to our web site as the clinic gets closer to a start date.

In addition to volunteers, the clinic will also require financial support. If your church would like to consider supporting this endeavor, we would be glad to send a representative to speak to your local fellowship, or provide you with any additional information you would like to receive.  Please contact us via email at hopeclinicpike@gmail.com and we can schedule an appointment as soon as possible.  Additionally, donations may be mailed in the form of a check to “The Hope Clinic of PikeCounty” at P.O. Box 101, Waverly, OH45690.

Finally, as you pray, if it comes to your memory, please remember the Hope Clinic, that God would continue to provide as He sees fit.

Ryan Satterfield is a steering committee member and volunteer with the Hope Clinic of Pike County. He is also a member and teacher at Morgantown Church in Morgantown, OH. 

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