“Sharing the love of Christ through the gift of free medical care” is not just a slogan for healthcare workers and other professionals who volunteer their time to support the work of Grace Clinics of Ohio, Inc. C really is a way of life for them.
Executive Director Melissa Mason said the clinic was established in 2006 in Delaware County through the work of members of Grace Church of Powell. This founding group included two doctors (twin brothers Kent and Kevin Doherty), a lawyer and others who saw the need for a free clinic to help residents who did not have insurance or the finances to have access to quality health services. .
“It was originally in the Andrews House in Delaware, which is a nonprofit facility that allows other nonprofits to use their space,” Mason said. “So every Wednesday they had a team of people who would come in and set up the exam rooms like the MASH rooms, basically, and then tear them down at the end of the night. It was progressing to a permanent location in Delaware on Franklin Street.”
The medical ministry has since expanded to four locations, including one in Marion which is in the Leapin’ Outreach Center building at 148 Court St. The other two facilities are the Hardin Clinic, located at 2052 Cleveland Ave. in Columbus, and the Jackson County Grace Clinic, located in Wellston in southeastern Ohio.
Grace Clinic Marion opened its doors this year, thanks in large part to the help of local volunteers, Mason said.
“Leapin’ Outreach Center had a space that had recently become vacant and there was talk of a need for a health clinic, so they offered us this space to provide free health care in the Marion area,” Mason said. . “So we were able to do this because of volunteers who were already at the clinic in Delaware and several employees of Dr. (Parminder) Singh’s office in Marion were amazing in helping us support the clinic with volunteers. The Lifepoint Church Marion l’usine has also been great in supporting the clinic.”
Grace Clinic receives funding from a variety of sources, including United Way of Delaware County, SourcePoint, Grace Church of Powell, Delaware County Foundation, Delaware County Healthcare Foundation, Grady Hospital Medical Staff, Women Giving Together, Ohio Health, Central Ohio Primary Care, and New Hope Community Church. The clinic receives no direct government funding and does not charge for insurance or Medicaid, Mason said.
She noted that the clinic accepts patients “underinsured or uninsured and at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.”
Mason said Grace Clinic Marion officials try to work in tandem with existing medical facilities in the communities they serve in an effort to accommodate patients in the best way possible.
“We have met with the administration of Marion General Hospital, so they are aware,” she said. “When we first enter a community, we try to link up with the hospitals. So when indigent patients come out of the hospital or emergency room, we can help them with their people. refer them after they’ve been treated for follow-up care or medication.We are happy to keep people out of the emergency room who we can otherwise treat.
“Conversely, I think hospitals know that if we send a patient to the emergency room, we have already seen them and know that an emergency room visit is necessary. These visits are expensive for hospitals and taxpayers, so it is a big service to local hospitals that we can provide.”
Mason said Grace Clinic Marion also offers free sports physical exams for local school students and physical exams for employment. She said they also treat “acute illnesses” such as urinary tract infections and strep throat. An on-site lab is available at Marion’s office.
“Our next big population would probably be diabetics and patients with hypertension,” she noted. “Make sure they are seen regularly and that they continue to take the medications they need and provide them if necessary.”
Mason said vision and dental services are not available at Grace Clinic Marion, but she hopes to add more services in the future.
Grace Clinic Marion is open Mondays at 5:30 p.m. for walk-in patients. No appointment is necessary.
For more information on Grace Clinics of Ohio, visit their website graceclinicweb.org. Contact the Marion Clinic by dialing 740-816-6955. To make a financial donation or to find out how to volunteer at Grace Clinics of Ohio, click on the “Support Us” tab on the website. Grace Clinic Marion also has Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @AndrewACCarter