CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Organizers call it the first of its kind in Southeast Missouri: a free clinic, which will soon open in Cape Girardeau.
The Samaritan Regional Health Clinic at 937 Broadway will serve anyone without medicare, medicaid, or health insurance. Those behind the effort say the need is huge.
The upcoming free clinic will truly be a labor of love. "I will be one of the doctors at the clinic," said Dr. Mark Dalton, Hospitalist, Southeast Health.
Doctor Dalton, the other doctors, nurses, office workers and others involved will volunteer their services.
"We have four exam rooms, a procedure room, and a lab," said Gwen Maloney- Nurse and CEO at Samaritan Regional Health Clinic.
They will offer basic medical care, and counseling. They will also have a mini pharmacy, that they hope to add to soon, plus eventually want to provide eye and dental care.
"I feel we had a need on our own area," said Dr. Dalton.
The idea evolved from recent mission trips taken to Jamaica.
Every other year a group of volunteers, and medical professionals offer free clinics there.
"The group as we've grown we've talked about how we can do something in our community," said Gwen Maloney.
"Like many pastors in the area, we have a lot of involvement with homeless people coming to our door," said Pastor Daniel Johnson-Evangelical United Church of Christ. "Many have obvious medical problems that aren't being treated."
Those involved range from pastors, doctors, nurses, teachers and more making this a real community effort.
"There are always people who don't get on medicare or medicaid or can't afford a co-pay who don't get the medical care they need for whatever reason," said Pastor Johnson.
A local dentist donated the building, and others have donated free phone/Internet and medical supplies.
Volunteers don't really know what to expect, but are excited about the difference it could make.
"We know it's going to be challenging to run a medical clinic, but we know we are going to be blessed by the folks that need the care," said Pastor Johnson.
They're still needing to tie up some loose ends, including finding a medical director and other dedicated volunteers.
In the beginning they'll be open a couple days a week, and then grow on that based on demand.
They hope to be open by July or August.
Anyone who might want to serve as Medical Director or can help the group recruit an individual can e-mail Pastor Dan Johnson, Clinic President Elect, at firstname.lastname@example.org