The St. Timothy's Outreach Clinic provides free walk-in health care on Tuesday afternoons with no appointments necessary. Patients will be taken in order of arrival except for the acutely ill, who will be seen first.
St. Timothy's Vicar, Bernie Lindley, during a recent tour of the clinic, made it clear that the clinic is
community sponsored. "We're working to heal physical ailments, not to proselytize," Lindley said.
"We just happened to have available space at the church and were able to turn a storage room into an examination room," he explained, and added, "And, with adjacent space to provide a nurse's station and reception area, volunteers Barbara Bonnor, John Weiss and Karl Sanstrom transformed that storage space into an exam room, and we have treated about 35 so far"
That there is an urgent need for free medical services in the community was evident by the continuing flow of patients in the reception area, nurses station and examination room throughout a recent Tuesday afternoon.
All of those involved in maintaining the free health care services at the newly opened clinic are unpaid volunteers, making it possible to provide care without fees.
Dr. Lawrence Witt, FNPs Nancy Erb and Trace Kather, nurses Francisca Van Lith, Marydith McCutchen, Rose Weiss and Diane Ross, receptionists Jan Krich and Ellen Castille, website manager Richard Hill, attorney John Babin and other helpers all generously support the clinic with time and effort.
"We have approximately 20 rotating volunteers doing everything from treating patients to cleaning toilets," Lindley said, "We have only one dentist, Gene Chickinell, and we need more dentists," he added. "And Curry Health Network provided our examination table and furnished all the examination room supplies.
A $5,000 Social Accountability Grant from the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society made it possible to get the clinic rolling. Mark Williams, director of the Good Samaritan Curry Village, explained, "We learned that Father Bernie at St. Timothy's church is working with community members to create an outreach clinic in Brookings. The dream is to create a clinic where those financially disadvantaged and uninsured can receive services, including medical, optometry, hearing and dental services at no cost."
In addition to obtaining the $5,000 grant, "Good Sam" employees and volunteers are also planning a fundraising barbecue scheduled for Sept. 26 at the Curry Village facility. Williams explained that the funds raised will be shared by St. Timoth's Outreach Clinic and to help Curry Village grant residents' wishes.
"We will be serving all you can eat ribs, chicken, beans, potato salad, bread and watermelon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.," Williams said. Curry Village is located at 1 Park Avenue in Brookings.
Williams noted that, in addition to having a wonderful meal-all you can eat for the price of $10-diners will also be helping support free medical services to those in need.
Anyone without medical insurance who cannot afford to go to the doctor for health care is invited to come to St. Timothy's Outreach Clinic, on the lower floor at St. Timothy's Church, 401 Fir St., from 1 to 4 p.m. any Tuesday. For additioanl information about the free clinic, or to volunteer or make a donation, call 541 469-3314.
The free clinic is sponsored by St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, South Coast Friends, and other community partners. South Coast Friends is a loosly organized group dedicated to serving the community at the soup kitchen, food bank, and other serving organizations, plus distrubution of clothing and food to the homeless.