Since opening in January 2006, Hope Clinic has had almost 7,000 patient visits, dispensed more than $12 million in free medication and performed more than 7,200 free lab tests. Hope Clinic has also partnered with Walker Baptist Medical Center and UAB Hospital to provide free hospital care to area residents.
Don Goetz, chairman of Hope Clinic’s board of directors, said the free health clinic serves people “who have fallen through the cracks.”
“Hope Clinic has become a safety net for people who do not have or cannot afford health insurance,” Goetz said.
Hope Clinic recently kicked off its annual letter-writing fundraising campaign. Funds donated will help cover operating costs of the free clinic, which is about $170,000 per year.
“That is our budget per year, and for that, the community receives in return between $2.5 to $3 million in health services and prescriptions,” Goetz said.
Hope Clinic survives solely on donations.
“We receive no federal, state, county or city funding,” Goetz said. “We live on financial donations, the Walker Area Community Foundation and the donations of medications from doctors, clinics, pharmaceutical manufacturers and Walker Baptist.”
Hope Clinic officials and volunteers work throughout the year to raise funds for the clinic. The fundraising letter campaign kicks off those efforts each year.
“We will send letters to people across Walker County,” Goetz said. “We want people to know how much Hope Clinic does and how much Hope Clinic is needed here.”
Goetz said donations can also be sent to the clinic to be used in the renovation of its new building, which will be on 19th Street in Jasper.
“We have raised about $300,000 out of our goal of $500,000,” he said. “At the new location, we will be able to offer dental, optical and chiropractic services, along with much-needed educational classes that we are unable to do at our present location.”
Goetz said the services provided by Hope Clinic will be needed in the future, despite the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“There is still uncertainty remaining regarding its implementation, funding and the impact on Walker County if the state chooses not to expand Medicaid,” Goetz said. “There could be 30 million people with no health coverage, even after full implementation in 2019. Walker County is currently last in the state in healthiness and mortality outcome. The demand for health care will continue. We need help to continue our mission to care for the needy.”
Hope Clinic is currently located at 1600 5th Avenue in Jasper.
For more information, contact the clinic at 205-302-0011. The clinic’s website is www.hopeclinicwalkercounty.org.