JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — A free health clinic in Walker County is being forced to suspend services until it can come up with more money to stay open.
The Hope Clinic of Walker County was created 10 years ago after a group of people noticed that some people were falling through the healthcare cracks. The Hope Clinic offers health care for uninsured people who have chronic diseases. Everything is completely free, including tests and medications.
The doctors volunteer, but the clinic doesn’t have enough money to continue helping people this past month. Right now, they’re asking the community to help.
“They count on us, they’ve seen the same doctors same nurses here. This is their doctor. It would be like if you found out your family doctor was about to close up shop and what are you going to do,” said Mary Sanders, Hope Clinic Volunteer Coordinator.
Volunteers, doctors, nurses and patients all say the Hope Clinic is like a family and they’re doing all they can to keep the doors open.
“I have hope, yeah, that’s the name of the clinic, hope, yes, we all have hope we just have to get it out how important the clinic is,” said Glenda Short, a lab volunteer.
The clinic usually operates off a $100,000 a year budget, so $10,000 would get them by month to month. Since its establishment in 2006, the clinic has had 9,582 patient visits and performed lab tests that would’ve cost upwards of $999,000. They’ve done it all for free.
Patients received a letter that notified them about the clinic’s suspended services. The letter also says the clinic is trying to see all of its patients before the end of the month to make sure they get a 90-day supply of their medications.
William Gray had two heart attacks in the same year, he had no insurance and didn’t have any money. He says the Hope Clinic was there to help him and dozens of other people, without it, he says the impact could be devastating.
“If they don’t keep it open I don’t know where these people would go for medication they can’t even afford it and if my woman is going in there right now, if we had to buy her medication it would kill us,” said Gray.
The clinic is accepting donations made by check. The address is 1600 5th Avenue S., Jasper, AL 35501.