CULLMAN, Ala. – Good Samaritan Health Clinic, which serves uninsured residents of Cullman County between the ages of 19 and 65 who meet eligibility requirements, had a busy 2019, serving almost 3,000 patients.
For those who may not be familiar, Executive Director Jolanda Hutson described Good Samaritan: “We operate as a primary care clinic providing a full range of services including medications and referrals to specialty physicians as needed. We offer care for routine illnesses, as well as comprehensive care for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and COPD. We also offer dental extractions, hearing evaluations, vision care for high-risk individuals, social services, patient education classes and community health screenings, all through Good Samaritan Clinic.”
By the numbers
In 2019, Good Samaritan Clinic:
- Served 2,958 total patient visits, with a slight increase in CRNP visits from 2018
- Accepted 187 new patients
- Referred 351 patients to a specialist
- Referred 66 patients for dental extractions
- Had 1,174 total hours volunteered directly at clinic or at community health screenings
- Dispensed 13,327 prescriptions having a retail value of $3.7 million
“Much needed and appreciated skilled volunteers allow us to expand our service offerings,” said Hutson. “Licensed nurses, (Wallace State Community College) nursing students, and (Cullman High School) Medical Academy students enable us to take our services out into the community to people who may not be aware of the clinic or our ability to provide them access to health care services. In 2019, the clinic participated in six community events by offering blood pressure, glucose and body mass index (BMI) checks and made referrals for follow-up care with patients’ primary care physicians or encouraged the uninsured to apply for the clinic’s services.
“In June 2018, the clinic added a social services volunteer whose role is to connect our patients with additional resources in the community, specifically our patients who require more specialized care than the clinic can provide. In 2019, 77 of our patients were assisted by our social services volunteer.
“Since May 2004, the clinic has been blessed to have a certified audiologist volunteer her time and expertise for the benefit of our patients. She performs hearing evaluations, just as a patient would receive in an ENT’s office, on our patients who need them. And, if the patient is determined to need hearing aids, they receive them at no cost to them. In 2019, 18 of our patients received hearing evaluations, five patients were fit and 10 hearing aids were dispensed.”
Hutson shared, “Our patients are thankful to receive the services provided by the clinic. In fact, several of our patients give back in numerous ways as a token of appreciation for the care they receive. One of our patients who works at an area restaurant periodically brings the staff and volunteers pizza or donuts as her way of saying ‘thank you.’ She says, ‘There are no words that can explain how much I appreciate all the help from the staff at the clinic. I feel like they are family.’
“Another patient purchases everyday items like paper products and cleaning supplies and brings them with her to her appointment. As of this past year, all patients now have the opportunity to donate monetarily through the patient donation box in the clinic’s waiting room. Many are taking advantage of this opportunity as indicated by increased donations during the year.”
Said Hutson, “It is through generous donations, grants and the support from local organizations, churches and businesses in the community that we are able to provide health care services at no cost to our patients.
“Many local businesses donate products and services on a routine basis that allow us to use our financial resources for more direct patient care. We certainly could not provide the services we do each day without the overwhelming support of the Cullman community.
“Cullman Regional provides invaluable support to the clinic. Last year, Cullman Regional contributed more than $2.36 million, not only in monetary support, but also through in-kind services for our patients including ED visits, lab analysis, diagnostic/imaging exams, inpatient care, surgical services as well as coordinating care for our patients who need more specialized services than we can provide.
“USA Healthcare and Econo Med faithfully support the clinic. USA Healthcare has graciously provided the clinic’s space rent free since the clinic’s inception in 2004. In addition, they provide utilities, garbage disposal and medical waste management each month.
“We are thankful to be one of 17 United Way partner agencies. Not only does this relationship provide us with much needed funding, but also allows us to partner with other like-minded charitable organizations to meet the diverse needs in our community.
“We are grateful to the City of Cullman, the CCCDC (Cullman County Development Commission), CAPNA (Community Action Partnership of North Alabama), Cullman County Commission, Cullman county municipalities, Alabama Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (AAFCC), as well as the numerous businesses, churches, civic organizations, local schools and individuals who faithfully support our mission.
“We are also thankful to everyone who consistently supports and attends our signature fundraising event, the Caring for Cullman Concert benefiting the Good Samaritan Health Clinic, each year. This year’s was the best yet. Through event sponsorships, ticket sales, and love offering, funds were raised to provide care for 92 Good Samaritan patients for an entire year.”
The final word
Hutson said, “I am grateful for God’s continued provision for Good Samaritan Clinic through the generosity of so many in our community. The Clinic’s ability to meet the needs of our uninsured depends on the faithful support of the Cullman community who understands the value and need for our services and supports our efforts in countless ways. I am thankful for our faithful donors, specialized network of physicians and dentists, dedicated staff, selfless volunteers and benevolent community partners for choosing to invest in the lives of our patients. Together, we are making a valuable difference in our community.”
To make a donation, or for more information on the clinic’s services and how to qualify, visit www.goodsamaritancullman.com or call 256-775-1389.
Follow the clinic on Facebook at GoodSamaritanCullman or on Twitter at SamaritanCullman.
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