Now combining its medical, dental and mental health services in one location at the corner of 10th and Solomon streets, the clinic provides services to the community with a fair market value of $8,234,000, said director Harry Kierbow with an actual budget of $1.2 million.
He said the indigent care clinic serves the working poor, those who make too much to be on Medicaid, but not enough to afford insurance.
The medical clinic alone had almost 19,000 appointments in 2012, seeing 13,500 patients, including 1,722 new patients, Kierbow told the the Spalding County Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday. There were also some 3,000 patients seen on the dental side, including 1,700 children, many of whom are brought in during school as part of program with the Griffin-Spalding County Schools, Kierbow said.
“We discovered about 85 percent of students had some dental health issues,” he said, “Now it’s down to 15 percent.”
The services provided include lab tests, acute and chronic disease care, prescription refills. as well as services provided by non-Hope personnel including ob-gyn and chiropractic and McIntosh Trail for mental health services. “Heathcare is not one piece,” Kierbow said, “but a combination of things.”
He noted that with these services people are able to learn to take better care of themselves. The nutrition classes really have changed a lot of people’s lives. It gets them off of many of the medications they may have been on and feeling better.”
“Our goal is to get them well, get them out so we make room for more patients,” said Dick Morrow, who serves on the Hope Health Clinic board of directors.
Kierbow said the clinic is privately funded not-for-profit 501(c)3, “there are no funds from any government entity.”
About 40 percent of its budget comes from the Spalding County Hospital Authority, with provides grants for local healthcare services with the proceeds and subsequent investment revenue from the sale of the county hospital about 25 years ago to a private company. Another program the Hospital Authority funds in the school nurse program,
The rest of the $1.2 million budget comes from grants, local businesses and individual donations. Griffin-Spalding United Way and Spalding Regional Hospital are also partners in the clinic, Kierbow said said, with the hospital providing the lab work, saving the clinic $100,000 a year
Morrow explained the clinic keeps patients from going to the hospital’s emergency room for treatment for non-emergencies. “About 20 percent of ER patients are non emergency,” he said.
The clinic, he said “takes the load off the hospital and is much more cost effective, We’re helping them, they’re helping us.”
Hope Health Clinic is asking local businesses to donate or volunteer to help support the clinic. Kierbow said “our goal was to fund ourselves, we need to find ways to raise revenue.”
For more information on Hope Health Clinic please call 678-688-8700 or see the website, at www.hopehealthclinic.com, It is under construction, but there are links to email or make online donations.