Medical clinic provides worthwhile services

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Someone who hasn’t been feeling well for months visits doctor after doctor, finding none who will accept him because he has no money or insurance coverage.

He finally finds a free clinic about 30 miles away from his home, where a family nurse practitioner examines him, realizes what’s wrong and prescribes the medicine he needs to get better.

That’s the outcome the volunteers and employees at the New Hope Clinic hope for when they treat these patients who “fall through the cracks”—people who have no insurance but who aren’t able to qualify for Medicaid or Medicare benefits.

Often times that’s the case, but there are other cases they’d rather not talk about—cases where the person came to them too late. An illness that may have been prevented or treated had already done its damage, and the person, perhaps someone in the prime of his/her life, dies soon after visiting the clinic.

It happens too often in cities, small towns and rural areas alike. But it doesn’t have to.

The volunteers at New Hope in Southport want Brunswick County residents to know they’re available and ready to help them, no matter the situation.

And they want to see them before it’s too late.

With the cost of healthcare rising all the time, the numbers of people seeking help from free clinics is increasing, as well, says New Hope’s executive director, Connie Hendrix.

The New Hope Clinic is run by a volunteer board of directors, an executive director who is the clinic’s biggest champion and volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals who want to provide needed care to those who otherwise can’t afford it.

They treat patients from through the county, from Leland to Oak Island, Calabash to Ash.

But the clinic is running out of room in its small office off N.C. 211.

That’s why Hendrix is asking for help from the community.

New Hope is starting a capital campaign to raise at least $500,000 to buy a new building. The board is seeking assistance from people experienced in fundraising to come up with ideas for special events and projects to raise the needed funds.

In addition, the clinic is always in need of volunteers, both medical and clerical.

With the clinic expected to treat more than 3,000 people this year, it’s a worthy cause that can’t be ignored by those of us who feel compassion toward our fellow man, especially those going through difficult times—economic, health-wise or both. And with the economy the way it is now, the clinic is busier than ever.

Think about donating time, talents, energy or money to this worthy effort.

For information on how you can help, call Hendrix at 457-6044.

sarah shew wilson is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or swilson@brunswickbeacon.com.