“Why do you volunteer at Hope House Free Medical Clinic?” That’s a great question. I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of the great team of volunteers at Hope House since it formed in 2006. After spending hours providing medical care in your “day job” why would anyone want to do this on their time off? The answer is at the heart of why we work in health care. People who look to Hope House for their health care needs have nowhere else to go and often have conditions which could result in serious harm or financial failure if neglected. It takes so little to help them get back on track and they are so quick to express their appreciation. Caring for others gives life meaning and providing that care to grateful and appreciative persons renews our calling. Through the generosity of many and our partnerships with other groups we are able to supply their basic needs until they are able to obtain insurance and a permanent source of primary care. Filling this gap gives patients an option besides a trip to the emergency room which for some is their only other choice. In spite of the Affordable Health care Act there are still plenty of people who slip through the cracks and we’re there for them. During the Covid 19 pandemic we’re still there, offering video and telephone visits and in-person visits when appropriate. Our partners at Ferris College of pharmacy provide hundreds of prescriptions each year, offer immunizations, medication counseling and chronic disease collaborative care. Our relationship with Spectrum Health allows us to cover limited diagnostic testing. And in the future, due to the forward thinking of our great board members, we are making plans to develop a wellness care program so our patients can be built physical, mental, and spiritual health. 2020 has been a very hard year for nearly everyone but a great year to give back to our community and make an investment in our neighbor’s lives! Please consider joining with us. There are so many ways that you can make a difference.
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Our service to our patients is highly dependent on the hard work of many individuals. I am continually amazed and impressed with the compassion and commitment of each one of our volunteers at Hope House Free Medical Clinic From the front desk staff, to our nurses, spiritual care volunteers, board members, and particularly, right now, I think of the physicians and advanced practice providers who have given of their personal time to care for the uninsured for over 13 years. Three individuals in particular have been faithful partners since the very beginning; Marla Vance MD, Eva Bartlett MD, and Sara Smoes PA. Words cannot convey how much I value the knowledge and skill they freely share for the benefit of our community, a gift deeply rooted in faith and their compassion for others. Each of them brings more than just professionalism. They share true love and concern for others which is the essence of what it means to be a health care professional.