Subscribe Register Login

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 1:03 p.m.
Top Picks - Mobile App

Medicine where it’s needed

Communities come together, offer health care to uninsured

By BY JEANNI BROSIUS Staff Writer

This article was published April 11, 2010 at 7:07 a.m.

— Basic medical care may be out of reach for a big section of the population.

Those who don’t qualify for Medic

aid or Medicare, and those who have

been refused or can’t afford medical

insurance, have no health care cover

age.

Some communities in the Three

Rivers area are opening up clinics toserve this group of people between 19 and 54 years old who need ongoing health care.

These clinics are funded by grants and private donations and have volunteer medical and nonmedical staff Each clinic has pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who volunteer to run the stocked pharmacy.

There are no narcotics at the clinics. For those patients who need more than an antibiotic or basic prescriptions, the staff will help enroll them in programs provided by the pharmaceutical companies, as well as write prescriptions for the medications that cost only $4.

Each clinic is governed by its own board of directors. New patients at each clinic must meet certain requirements and should present photo identification and income verification, such as a tax return or check stubs.

Batesville Christian Health Center Kari Jones suffers from an autoimmune disease, and because she is a stay-at-home mom, she has no insurance coverage to help with her medical costs. She had been seeing Dr. Bill Wells at the Christian Health Center of Heber Springs, which has a volunteer medical staff that has served patients with chronic health issues at no cost since 2001.

“I sat in his office and cried,” Jones said. “I had not seen a doctor in five years.” Jones became one of the driving forces to open a similar health clinic in her hometown of Batesville.

“She is the glue holding it all together while the people are trying to figure out what to do,” Wells said about Jones’ involvement in the Batesville clinic.

Because the clinic hasn’t established a permanent location, it will be set up at Believers Community Church, 3645 N. St. Louis St., north of Batesville.

The Christian Health Center of Batesville will see patients from 6-9 p.m. every third Thursday beginning this week. The temporary location will be set up and taken down each time the clinic opens, and the board of directors is looking for a permanent location.

There will be an $8 charge for each patient, and that amount includes a doctor visit and any necessary lab work and prescriptions. A pharmacist and pharmacy technicians will also be part of the volunteer staff.

“I had talked about trying to do something like this in the past and got invited to a meeting with some local ministers and a pharmacist,” said Dr. Andy Davidson of the Batesville Family Practice Clinic. “We all have patients who can’t afford treatment.”

Davidson is one of the doctors who will volunteer time to the clinic.

“This is not an after-hours clinic,” Davidson said. “Our goal is to care for people who have chronic illness, who can’t afford a doctor visit, the prescriptions and the lab.” To make an appointment or learn more about the clinic, call (870) 698-1985.

Eligibility for clinic services at Christian Health Center of Batesville

◊A patient cannot have any kind of medical insurance, including Medicaid, Medicare or VA benefits.

◊Household income cannot exceed 133 percent of the current Federal Poverty Level.

◊New patients should present proof of income for all household members, proof of current address and a photo ID.

Clinic services

◊Basic primary medical care ;

◊Pastoral counseling;

◊Laboratory testing; and

◊Medications ordered by clinic practitioners are provided.

Heber Springs Christian Health Center

Dr. Bill Wells began his private medical practice in Heber Springs in 1960 and eventually retired from the Veterans Administration Hospital in 1992.

Moving back to Heber Springs, Wells decided to partner with a few other doctors to form the Christian Health Center of Heber Springs.

“I decided I wanted to do something to keep my practice going, and I learned that people in Cleburne Countyweren’t getting health care,” Wells said.

The Christian Health Center in Heber Springs, which has volunteer medical and nonmedical staff, has been serving patients who have chronic health issues at no cost since 2001. It is located at 2001 Cares Drive in Heber Springs.

“There is no fee for services, but we ask for a $5 donation for administrative costs. That’s not a requirement for service,” Wells said.

The health center offers medical care, lab work and medications.

Seeing an average of 50 patients each week, the clinic’s doors are open from 6 p.m. until the last patient is seen each Thursday. The center is open the first and third Tuesdays of each month only for prescription refills, Wells said.

Wells said the clinic is funded through grants and a portion of the tobacco tax, along with private donations and fundraising events.

“We have gotten good financial support from the community,” Wells said.

It’s not uncommon to fill more than 150 prescriptions each week, and the clinic sees 50 to 60 patients each week. In addition to having prescriptions on hand, the clinic also helps patients who need regular medications enroll in patient assistant programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.

To make an appointment or learn more about the clinic, call (501) 362-2252, e-mail manager@chchebersprings. org or visit chchebersprings. org.

Eligibility for clinic services at Christian Health Center of Heber Springs

◊A patient cannot have any kind of medical insurance, including Medicaid, Medicare or VA benefits.

◊Household income cannot exceed 200 percent of the current Federal Poverty Level.

◊Check in between 6-7 p.m. Thursdays.

◊New patients should present proof of income for all household members and proof of current address.

Clinic services

◊Basic primary medical care;

◊Mental-health counseling;

◊Pastoral counseling;

◊Laboratory testing;

◊Female exams, including pap smears; and

◊Medications ordered by clinic practitioners are provided.

Newport Christian Community

Clinic of Jackson County

Helen Bullard was visiting with members of her Sundayschool class at First United Methodist Church about mission-trip ideas.

“We don’t have to go off. There are mission opportunities right here at home,” Bullard said. “Dr. [Guilford] Dudley had recently read an article in the Democrat-Gazette about the Eureka Springs Charitable Clinic and wondered, ‘Why can’t we have a free clinic here in Newport, Ark.?’”

Dr. Bill Wells of the Christian Health Center of Heber Springs organized a meeting of members of clergy, city and county leaders and members of the community.

On Jan. 10, a group of “missionaries” began remodeling five unused Sunday school classrooms at the Umstead Memorial United Methodist Church annex building, 213 N. Cedar St. in Newport. The process of organizing a board of directors, acquiring funds, offering volunteer training and gathering supplies and equipment began.

The Christian Community Clinic doctors saw their first patients on March 25.

“The vision of this clinic is to try to meet the medical needs of uninsured adults 19 and older that have no other place to go for medical care,” Bullard said in an e-mail. “With the help of volunteers from our community, the mission of the clinic will be to provide health care with spiritual support to those who are not being served by any other means.”

The clinic is not an acutecare or emergency clinic; it is geared more toward patients with chronic ailments.

“We help patients manage their medical conditions to where they don’t get so sick they have to be hospitalized,” Bullard said. “There are an estimated 2,000 people in Jackson County who fall into these guidelines.”

To make an appointment or learn more about the clinic, call (870) 523-7505.

Eligibility for clinic services at Christian Community Clinic of Jackson County

◊A patient cannot have any kind of medical insurance, including Medicaid, Medicare or VA benefits.

◊Household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the current Federal Poverty Level.

◊Preregister from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

◊New patients should present proof of income for all household members and proof of current address.

Clinic services

◊ Basic primary medical care;

◊Pastoral counseling;

◊Laboratory testing; and

◊Medications ordered by clinic practitioners are provided.

Cabot Lonoke County Christian Clinic The Lonoke County Christian Clinic is at 502 Richie Road in Cabot. Its doors opened Dec. 29, 2008.Attempts were made to contact someone at the clinic, but no one could be reached for comment.

According to its Web site, the clinic provides affordable general medical care, preventive medicine and health education and has spiritual counseling available to those who seek it.

- jbrosius@ arkansasonline.com

Three Rivers, Pages 121 on 04/11/2010

Print Headline: Medicine where it’s needed

Comment on: Medicine where it’s needed

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1 total comment

jreppoh says... April 14, 2010 at 10:11 p.m.

Hey how about some dental. People in Arkansas have bad teeth because there is no help for them unless it is just pulling teeth!

( | suggest removal )

  • page
  • 1
Click here to make a comment

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

TOP JOBS

  • Production workers

    earn egg-cellent pay openings Along with an excellent compen...
    SILOAM SPRINGS, AR

  • Independent sales representatives

    HELLO! We Need Earning Potential at Kiosk Booth $600 - $900...
    Little Rock, AR

  • Diesel mechanics

    mechanicsa truck rental and leasing company inbusiness for o...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Carriers wanted

    earning from $1,000 to $1,400 per month for a few hours eac...
    Gurdon, AR

  • Lpns

    Weekend option & M-FApply in person. Premier Health & Rehab...
    NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR

Search 892 jobs >

Top Picks - Mobile App
Arkansas Online