NEWBERRY — The Free Medical Clinic of Newberry opened house to the community on Wednesday.
The clinic held their annual meeting in conjunction with an open house so that anyone could come in and see what the clinic is all about and ask any questions that they may have.
The clinic’s board chair Pat Caldwell said, “We know you are concerned about the clinic and clients and we appreciated all you want to do for the clinic and community.”
She also announced the board officers for 2013 which include Caldwell as chairperson, Jim Lander as vice chair, Pat Johnson as secretary and a treasurer spot they must fill.
The clinic’s executive director Pam Branton encouraged people to tell others about the clinic and how they are always in need of financial support.
“This is your free clinic,” said Branton, “We are always soliciting funds because running a free clinic is not free. We do not have funding like we used to have. We need you to let them know to support the free clinic. We do not get tax payer dollars; we survive solely on donations.”
Branton also continued by saying, “We are here for you. We want to know if we’re doing a good job; not doing a good job. Either way, we want to know.”
After some brief business was taken care of and some socializing, Branton lead a tour of the clinic’s facilities.
She explained the process for a patient, beginning with the reception to the office visit along with any lab work needed.
There are five physicians that the clinic has along with a nurse practitioner, Branton explained.
Branton also added that nurses and other volunteers are also always needed to help out, whether it’s for medical purposes or administrative.
A unique aspect of the clinic included a starfish story on the bulletin board in the break area.
Branton said, “I encourage everyone to be a star thrower. Every life you touch makes a big difference.”
In addition to doctors, they also have dentists for the patients.
They are trying their best to combine resources for patients with recommendations to help patients.
As of now, there are 966 active patients in Newberry’s free clinic, according to Branton.
“It cuts down on ER (emergency room) services,” said Branton, “We’re not taxpayer supported.”
“Everyone is treated with respect; it’s a two way road,” Branton said.