Due to your help and support, GSC had a very successful year in 2013. We currently have over 10,000 patients in our database. In 2013 we saw over 7,000 patient visits which is a 16% increase over last year and we gave out over 1.5 million dollars worth of free medication to our patients. With additional funding, we were able to hire more medical staff and we were able to offer walk-in services for our patients for the first time. Of the patients we saw, 1,005 of those visits were walk-in patients. We consider this program to be highly successful.
We were able to double the number of our eye clinics from once a month to two times a month. We are currently providing approximately 20 people per month with eye examinations and eye glasses. With the help of Mercy Hospital and others we are now offering “Diabetes Training” on a weekly basis for our diabetic patients. This is 8 hours of training that is offered to our patients. Of the patients that have attended this training, we have seen a marked improvement in their overall health. Debbie Leakey LPN, who is one of our nurses here at the clinic has developed a “Foot Clinic” for our diabetes patients. Foot care for a diabetic patient is critical to their overall health and helps prevent amputations.
We have further developed a good relationship with both hospitals and they are referring more patients to the clinic as these individuals are being released from the hospital for follow up care. What we discovered was that many individuals who cannot afford the proper follow up care and medications end up back in the hospital or emergency room within 30 to 60 days after release. With the help of Clear Channel radio, Spirit 106.3 and Power Worship 89.7, we have been able to conduct some very successful radio campaigns to promote the clinic.
Unfortunately, the need for the Clinic continues to grow. I know that sometimes I sound like a broken record, but with the continued poor economy, more and more people are having trouble accessing medical care. Businesses are canceling their employee’s health insurance or severely limiting coverage. With the new Health Care Law, many people have had their health insurance canceled and cannot afford the new health care premiums. If they are able to get on the expanded Medicaid Program, they are having problems finding a physician that will see them. If they are able to get health insurance through the exchanges, most of the plans have very high deductibles, which these patients are forced to pay cash up front to be seen. Money, which most of them do not have, so they end up back at our Clinic.
On behalf of myself, our staff, our volunteers, our Board of Directors and most of all our patients and their families we want to thank you for the help and support you have given Good Samaritan Clinic. Without your support, we would not exist. We look forward to working with you in 2014. We want to assure you that your support and funds are being used to efficiently and effectively help many people in the Fort Smith area. We are helping a lot of people everyday at the clinic get the medical help that is desperately needed. A lot of “God Things” are happening at this clinic!