Triumphant Quartet / W.C. Mann
CULLMAN – The Good Samaritan Clinic held its third annual Caring for Cullman Concert this week at Cullman High School, featuring two gospel acts with local connections. As crowds filled the venue, the event was expected to raise more than $25,000 for the clinic, which offers medical services to the uninsured of Cullman County.
Bama Blu-Grace opened the show. Two Cullman area couples, Ron and Christie Burrow and Ron and Jennifer Hale, formed the band 17 years ago. For this concert, the band was joined by the Burrows’ daughter Abby, who added mandolin to the lineup of guitar, banjo, fiddle and bass.
Triumphant Quartet then took the stage. Eric Bennett, David Sutton, Clayton Inman and Scotty Inman performed as part of the regular cast at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge from 2003 to 2008, then began touring all over the country. Bennett, the band’s bass singer, is a Cullman County native and graduate of West Point High School.
The Caring for Cullman Concert was the brainchild of Good Samaritan’s Jolanda Hutson, who explained, “I came up with the idea for the Caring for Cullman Concert for couple of reasons. First of all, at the Good Samaritan Clinic we provide medical care to the Cullman community, and I wanted to have a concert and reach out to performers who have gone on to make it big in the entertainment industry, to come back to their hometown, to give back to their community.”
According to Hutson, the event averages approximately $28,000 per year. With each uninsured patient costing the clinic an average of $500 per year to serve, if Monday’s concert followed the norm, it will provide services to 56 patients in the next year.
Dr. Jeremy Stidham of Cullman Internal Medicine and Good Samaritan’s medical director, talked about what the clinic means for Cullman County.
“It’s a good bunch of folks that work at the clinic, and they do a good job for the patients,” he said. “And in turn, that does a lot for our community, keeping these folks healthy who otherwise wouldn’t get any medical care at all. That’s not only good for them, it’s good for all of us. When patients are healthy to begin with, it makes them a lot easier to care for when they do get ill.
“That’s probably my favorite thing about the clinic, actually, is that we are able to keep folks who would otherwise have no care at all healthy enough to do well when they get sick.
“In the past two years, the clinic has opened its doors a little wider to patients who need help. In years past, it’s been a little bit of a closed community, where we accepted fewer patients than we should have. In recent years, we’ve been able to open those doors up to folks who may otherwise in the past not have been able to get into the clinic and that’s something we’re very proud of.
“On another front, we monitor our patient data, and we’ve done that electronically the past few years, which is a big step forward for the clinic, and we have proven that we’re not only taking care of people, but we’re doing a very good job of taking care of people. We’re meeting markers that show excellent quality in health care. And I’m going to credit that to Randa Duke, our nurse practitioner, who’s doing the real hard work at the clinic. She’s a fantastic practitioner.”
“I would like to thank all the people who helped put on the event,” said Hutson. “We could not put on an event of this magnitude without the support of the community, so we’re very grateful to all of our sponsors, our community partners, Chick-fil-A, as well as a lot of students from Cullman High School and Cullman County who are helping here tonight, our board, some of our staff who are here. And we’re just grateful also for a lot of churches, civic organizations and businesses that helped us promote our event. It’s a ton of people that came together to help us have a successful evening, and we’re very grateful for that.”
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