Hope Clinic planning 10 year celebration

| September 4, 2019

COSHOCTON – Ten years ago a group of dedicated volunteers came together to set up a free medical clinic for uninsured people. Since that time more than 7,000 people have been seen at the Hope Clinic of Coshocton.

An open house celebrating 10 years of serving the community will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Hope Clinic, 131 S. Sixth St. The public is invited to come enjoy light refreshments, take a tour and ask questions.

“It’s an opportunity for people to see what we do,” said Maureen Karl, president of the board of directors. “I think people will be surprised with how nice and professional it is.”

Karl helped get the Hope Clinic started after taking a mission trip to the Dominican Republic and being told by Dr. Kevin Doherty and Dr. Kent Doherty that it was possible to do something like this in your own backyard. Kevin and Kent helped start nine faith based free clinics and six remain today including Coshocton’s.

“There is definitely a need for this in our community,” Karl said. “People are working but they are not blessed to have insurance.”

The Hope Clinic is open on Thursdays. Patients are seen from 5 p.m. up until the last one is cared for. You do not have to be from Coshocton County to be seen. The first Hope Clinic patients were cared for on Sept. 10, 2009, just six months after the board was formed.

“It’s basic medical care like you would receive at a doctor’s office,” Karl said.

A medical provider is there every Thursday and they have access to a physician at all times. The Hope Clinic also offers podiatry and chiropractic care. Optometry is available by appointment. The lab can run urine tests, strep tests, glucose, pregnancy, A1C, and EKGs free of charge. Seventy-one volunteers have helped provide these services and 20 of them are needed each Thursday evening.

“You can go in (to volunteer) downhearted and come out with a great attitude,” said Deborah Johnson, who has been with the Hope Clinic since the beginning and is now secretary of the board. “It’s a very uplifting environment.”

As of Aug. 29, the volunteers have logged 40,069.75 clinic hours. They have served 7,465 patients and 1,881 patients have sought ministry in the clinic’s prayer room while 4,068 have submitted prayer requests.

“The feedback we get is very positive,” Johnson said.

On average the clinic sees 10-12 patients a night. The most common ailments they see are diabetes and hypertension.

“We have saved lives,” Karl said.

Johnson agreed with her.

“We’ve had people come in with symptoms of heart attacks and sent them on to the hospital for treatment,” she said. “We’ve had numerous diabetics who had gone without anything to now being regulated and their wounds healed. We’ve moved from crisis situations to more of maintenance ones.”

The Hope Clinic currently has: Three optometrists, two chiropractors, one podiatrist, four physicians, one nurse practioner, and one physician assistant. The list of volunteers also includes people who work in hospitality, registration, discharge, prayer, prescription assistance, greeters, and their hot dog server.

“We serve hot dogs to patients every Thursday,” Karl said.

Johnson added that it’s another way they can minister to them.

“For some it’s all they’ve had all day,” she said.

In addition to Johnson and Karl, the board of directors includes: Pastor Mark Granger, director of outreach; Dr. Kevin Doherty, medical director; Dr. Denise Miller, director of quality assurance; Rick Merrell, vice president; and Steve Hoop, treasurer. They help make sure the clinic is fiscally responsible, supplies are maintained, bylaws are followed and the building is kept up.

When the Hope Clinic, which is run by donations and grants, opened its doors in September 2009 it was located at the Coshocton County Career Center. In March 2010 it was given the former Davis Dry Cleaners building, where it is currently located. Volunteers helped renovate that building and a ribbon cutting was held on June 4, 2011. The all-volunteer staff has now returned $1,676,679 worth of services to the community since Sept. 10, 2009.

“If it wasn’t for the support of the community we wouldn’t be here,” Karl said. “We want to continue to meet the needs of the community.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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