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2011-06-29 / Front Page

Free clinic opens in Marlette

Caring Heart sees patients twice monthly
BY ERIC LEVINE Editor


Caring Heart workers prepare to meet patients. Left to right - Sharon Kalwender (supply manager), Kathy Goddeiris (lab technician), and Erin Roberts (nurse practitioner). Caring Heart workers prepare to meet patients. Left to right - Sharon Kalwender (supply manager), Kathy Goddeiris (lab technician), and Erin Roberts (nurse practitioner). MARLETTE — Caring Heart Health Clinic has wrapped its first month of service to patients who can’t afford medical aid.

The free clinic for the working poor is an outgrowth of Heaven Sent Ministries of Marlette. The clinic, with an alley entrance behind Heaven Sent on Main Street, is open the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Staffed by volunteers, and dependent on donations, the walk-in clinic opened its doors for the first time June 7.

“We had nine patients the first night and eight of the nine qualified, and then we had the same number last week (June 21), with two returning for follow up,” said Sue Cook, Caring Heart executive director.

“We’re treating everything from sore throats to diabetes. We don’t turn anyone away. We’re trying to guide them (elsewhere) if we can’t provide a service.”

The clinic is open to uninsured or under-insured Sanilac County residents, individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 who fall between the 150 and 200 percent federal poverty guidelines.

The clinic opens at 3 p.m. for applications and questions. The physician begins seeing patients at 5 p.m. for treatment of non-emergency medical problems.

“We’re all volunteer, nobody is paid,” said Cook, a retired registered nurse and former health occupations instructor at the Sanilac Career Center. “We have probably 30 to 40 (volunteers), from cleaning the clinic right on up to being medical director. We have greeters...nurses, medical assistants, a lab technician to draw blood.”

Cook added, “We’re always looking for more (volunteers)....We’re in desperate need of someone who can do fundraising for us. We need donations to keep it going.”

Local restaurants are pitching in. Since volunteers come straight from their day jobs to help at the clinic, restaurants are providing dinner so they can assist with medical needs into the evening. The clinic has been open as late as 8:30 p.m.

Restaurants volunteering to help include Treve’s Pizza, Subway, Eddy G’s, Liangh Gardens, Beagio’s and McDonald’s.

For more information about Caring Heart, call the clinic at 989-635-1441 or Heaven Sent, 989-635- 0077. Donations can be sent to Caring Heart Health Clinic, 3073 Main St., Marlette.

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