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Donors needed to maintain, expand free health clinic

By Rachel McDaniel Rock Springs Clinic is a bustling and friendly place as volunteer nurses and doctors help families without insurance receive basic health care, counseling and chronic disease care each week. ’We have around 60 volunteers, including physicians and nurses and they rotate in and out. Some come each week to help,’ said Rock Springs Clinic administrative director Bobbi Riley. ‘We also have monthly Health Partners who sponsor patients and we highly depend on them and appreciate their contributions which allow us to continue to help patients.’ To become a Health Partner, members of the community can pledge to donate $5, $10, $15 or $20 or more each week of the year and sponsor patients. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at rsclinic. org, by text to 678-585-6003, in person at the clinic or by mailing checks to 211 Rock Springs Road, Milner GA 30257. Riley said patients mainly visit the clinic from five surrounding counties, with Lamar County patients accounting for about 25% of patients. ‘Last year we had more than 5,000 patient contacts, including more than 1,200 patient visits with providers,’ she said. ‘There is help for people here who need it and qualify. We are supported by grants, donations and health partnerships. We also need nurses and doctors to volunteer and they are covered under state malpractice insurance. A provider or nurse can volunteer just two hours once a month. Right now we need someone who is savvy with computers as we are about to install an electronic medical records system.’ In addition to primary medical care offered each Thursday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Rock Springs Clinic offers chronic illness management services each Tuesday. A small pharmacy is part of the clinic as well, and as available, patients are provided with the medication they need to treat illnesses and to maintain chronic conditions, including blood pressure medications and diabetes testing strips and insulin. Rock Springs administrators are working toward offering more specialty doctors, adding dental services and further extending clinic hours so more patients can be helped each day. Free flu shots are offered to patients through a partnership with Walgreens in addition to other services. Walgreens pharmacy manager Courtney Jones said they try to help combat the flu by offering as much outreach as possible at the beginning of flu season. ’There is not a week that goes by without patients being so thankful and voicing that to us. That’s what makes all the work worth it,’ said Riley. ‘This is a wonderful place to volunteer and we’re all here for the same reason. Just to serve God.’ The free community health clinic was started in 2007 when members of Rock Springs Church raise $80,000 on just one Sunday to purchase the building and property for the clinic. Riley has served as administrative director for almost two years. ’I knew God had called me to come here. There were so many circumstances that came together and led me here,’ said Riley. ‘God is providing and that’s who we depend on. He doesn’t fail. It’s been an amazing journey to see how he fulfills the needs here.’

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