Free Clinic Gives Patients Hope in Health, Life
The St. Vincent de Paul Free Clinic in Merrill is open every Thursday night for patients who cannot otherwise afford medical care.
Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center is one of several area health organizations that support the Free Clinic, but it is more than just a building and volunteers. It is a source of stability and hope for those who benefit from the care, and who without exception, are grateful to have this service in our community.
Paul* is one of these patients who recently came to the free clinic with a variety of physical complaints. He had not been feeling well for some time.
The doctor spent a good deal of time talking with him, ordered several lab tests and asked Paul to return the next week.
Paul’s lab work was abnormal, most notably indicating that he may have diabetes. Additional tests were done, and Paul was indeed diagnosed with Type II Diabetes Mellitus.
Free Clinic volunteers developed a plan for Paul, providing him with a glucose testing meter and supplies. A pharmacist programmed the meter and instructed Paul on its use. One of the registered nurses pulled together information on diabetes from a variety of sources to educate Paul on the basics of the disease. The nurse then worked with a local primary care clinic to arrange for Paul to meet with the diabetes instructor. Through a grant from the Good Samaritan Health Center Foundation, the clinic was able to provide Paul with insulin.
When left untreated or uncontrolled, diabetes can limit the function of the kidneys, the eyes, nerves, and circulation. It can potentially be disabling. Through the St. Vincent de Paul Free Clinic, Paul has a chance to control his diabetes and improve his health.
*Name changed to protect patient confidentiality.