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Free Clinic opens doors for first time

March 1, 2012

Volunteers gathered in the hallway just before they opened the doors of the Free Clinic for the first time.

On Thursday, February 23, 2012, the Free Clinic in Antlers opened their doors for the first time. With a troop of volunteers, including doctors and pharmacists, the Free Clinic is a coming together of many local people to fill a gap in the community’s health care system.

The Free Clinic, sponsored by the First Baptist Church will be open on the last Thursday of each month from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The Clinic is located at 511 East Main Street, inside the Antlers Manor Nursing Home, across from the Pushmataha County Hospital. The Clinic will continue to operate on a first come first serve basis with no appointments.

The policy of this clinic is to provide free medical services to people who are not covered by any type of health insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, and who cannot afford to buy such insurance. in order to comply with the guidelines for operation of a free clinic, each patient will be required to supply current income verification information for clinic accountability.

This Clinic is completely volunteer operated and the First Baptist Church expressed extreme gratitude for the overwhelming number of volunteers who have signed up to help operate this Christian based ministry. The Antlers Manor Nursing Home is also a major supporter of the Free Clinic as they offered to let the clinic operate out of the Nursing home, rent free.

“While Baptist churches often give leadership in starting these programs around the state, other denominations are invited and encouraged to participate,” said Bill Sisson, Associate Director for Health Care Ministries Consultant. “The entire religious community can come together to improve the health of the community residents and everybody wins in such an undertaking.”

To help make the Clinic operate smoothly, and so they can help as many people as possible, if medication is received by a patient that has allowed refills, the patient can come back to the clinic and sign in for the Pharmacy side and get the prescription refilled without having to see t he doctor again. The only refills and prescriptions that will be filled at the Clinic are ones wrote to patients by the Clinic. No outside prescriptions will be filled for patients.

The start up of this Clinic has shown just how much the community bands together to help those who need a hand. If you would like to volunteer you time or make a donation to the clinic please contact the First Baptist Church of Antlers office at 580-298-3374.

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