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Free Medical Clinics Planned in Vidalia
Tuesday, 19 May 2009

May 19--  Various agencies in Toombs County are collaborating to offer free medical clinics to those who qualify based on income.

Dr. Nancy Stanely runs the community wellness program at Meadows Regional Medical Center.  "We don't want anyone to feel excluded or ashamed to come.  This is an effort of people who really want to help those that don't have access to care and to keep them from getting sick or sicker," she says.

A quarter of the local population has no health insurance and many low income families use the Emergency Room at Meadows for their primary care.  Dr. Stanley believes the health clinics can provide less expensive medical attention. 

"What we are trying to do is to give folks a place to access care.  If there are chronic things like diabetes and high blood pressure, we can get them into some case management," she says.

Initially, the clinic will be open the last Saturday of each month at God's Storehouse on McIntosh Street.  Eventually, Dr. Stanley hopes they'll find a location where it can be open on a daily basis.

"We are actually forming a board at present to start what is called a "Volunteers in Medicine Clinic.  There are currenly 72 of these  across the country, and it will actually be staffed on a daily basis depending on the number of volunteers we have," she reports.

The first clinic will be open Saturday, May 30th from nine till noon.  To qualify, participants must be uninsured and show proof of limited income.  Transportation to the clinic will be provided if needed.

Cooperating in the program are Meadows Regional Medical Center, the Toombs County Health Department, East Georgia Health Center, Toombs Area Ministerial Association, God's Storehouse Ministry, Southeast Georgia Communities Project and Grand's Taxi.

Information is available from Dr. Stanley at 277-2141.

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