You may be wondering what is a ‘Good Samaritan’? As a faith-based organization we are given a clear picture to care for those in need, as God desires for us to do, in Luke 10:25-37.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
" 25 One day an authority on the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you understand it?” 27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do that, and you will live.” 29 But the man wanted to make himself look good. So he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Robbers attacked him. They stripped off his clothes and beat him. Then they went away, leaving him almost dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that same road. When he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 A Levite also came by. When he saw the man, he passed by on the other side too. 33 But a Samaritan came to the place where the man was. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him. 34 He went to him, poured olive oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey. He brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins. He gave them to the owner of the inn. ‘Take care of him,’ he said. ‘When I return, I will pay you back for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of the three do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by robbers?” 37 The authority on the law replied, “The one who felt sorry for him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do as he did.” – Luke 10:25-37
For over a decade, the Good Samaritan Clinic has done our utmost to follow Christ’s command to care for those hurting through means of providing quality healthcare and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ. As a nondenominational Christian organization we strive to meet the spiritual and physical needs of individuals with the purpose of sharing God’s love and mercy everyday.
As a faith-based healthcare ministry we are reclaiming the church’s commitment to care for people. With the help of staff, volunteer health professionals and the generosity of donors, the Clinic provides onsite affordable healthcare for low-income working individuals, their families, the homeless, and people who are facing extraordinary life circumstances. Good Samaritan Clinic opened its doors to patients on July 18, 2003. It is located at 615 North B Street in downtown Fort Smith. Our clinic is not federally funded. Instead, we rely on the continuous generosity of donations in order to continue to serve those in need.
In 2003, a local group of concerned individuals recognized that our greater Fort Smith community was trying to grow, but had many challenges to overcome. Unemployment rates and local poverty levels were on the rise. With a desire to help those in need, these leaders decided to address the issue of health and wellness, or more specifically, access to affordable and quality medical care for area residents regardless of condition, age or ability to pay.
Under the direction of Dr. Kemal Kutait, a retired family practitioner, and Ramona Roberts, a veteran real estate professional, both from Fort Smith, the group organized to offer a free clinic night at a local church on Grand Avenue. Much to their delight and surprise, 70 people showed up for the opening night and from there the present day Good Samaritan Clinic was born.
Over the years, the Clinic has grown from a handful of patients a day to an average of 394 patient visits per month. Given this growth in demand for and expansion of offered services (now chiropractic, dental, mental and optical in addition to traditional medical care, education and prevention), staffing likewise grew from three full-time positions to a dedicated team of six full-time and two part-time employees plus numerous volunteers.
With the adoption of the Affordable Care Act and the subsequent decision by the Good Samaritan Clinic Board of Directors to evaluate individuals on a case by case basis regarding their access to healthcare. This has meant that the number of patient visits has continued to increase. Even with a strict application and screening process, the Clinic now has over 13,000 patients within its database. These are people that without assistance would become worse health-wise, potentially developing and suffering from untreated illnesses, resulting in missed work and further financial distress.
The Good Samaritan Clinic, its friends, supporters and volunteers believe that the health of our community is the wealth of our community. By helping to promote happy, healthy and productive individuals, we believe our service area and indeed society as a whole will benefit. As with any local, independent not-for-profit organization, it takes money to meet our mission. With growing patient loads and demand for services, the Clinic’s financial needs are pressing, but never distracting from our end goal.
Thanks to volunteer health care professionals, the Clinic continues to provide affordable on-site medical services for the working poor, the homeless, the elderly and children in need. As Good Samaritans we strive to meet and exceed individual patient needs by treating the whole person, which in turn helps our community to grow and prosper.
We're Here to Help
The Good Samaritan Clinic is a charitable healthcare ministry for the under-served. As an ecumenical healthcare ministry that reclaims the church’s commitment to care for people. With the help of both staff and volunteer health professionals, the clinic provides on-site affordable healthcare for low-income workers, their families, the homeless, and people who are facing extraordinary life circumstances.