Letter to the Editor:
I am convinced that the citizens of Logan County really have no idea just how much the Helping Hands Health Clinic in Elkton helps the citizens of Logan County. Of our 672 active patients 303 are residents of Logan County. Thus far in 2012 we have had 310 new patients come to the clinic for medical, dental or vision care, 135 have been from Logan County. The clinic was founded by citizens of Todd County but the mission of the clinic is to continue the healing mission of Jesus Christ, by providing quality health care to Todd, Logan, and Muhlenberg Counties. Primarily our patients are the working uninsured and fall at or below the 185% of poverty. In today’s economy, this accounts for a large number of people and families. The visit with Dr. Tom Grabenstein or Elaina Higgins APRN is free. We offer lab tests at a much discounted rate but the patient is asked to pay for that and is allowed to make payments.
These patients come to the clinic for many chronic health care problems that require frequent monitoring of certain blood levels, therapeutic medication levels, and daily prescription medications.
Helping Hands Health Clinic either obtains from pharmaceutical companies or purchases insulin for over 70 patients. Per bottle, Insulin cost is over $100 per bottle, some patients require two types of insulin and some take so much insulin that they could easily need three bottles per month. Patients who meet the criteria to receive treatment from Helping Hands cannot afford to purchase this vital medication. In addition to insulin they need syringes and diabetic testing supplies. Most diabetics have multiple medical problems related to diabetes such hypertension, neuropathies, hypercholesterolemia, just to name a few, all requiring even more high cost medications.
Certainly diabetes is not the only diagnosis we treat. We frequently see eighteen to twenty patients, including children, per day. We treat patients with many diagnoses from sinus infections to depression.
We are the primary care source for most of our patients. In addition we also assist Medicare Part D patients with obtaining assistance with medications when they fall into the donut hole, we assist patients newly diagnosed with acute and sometimes terminal diagnosis with “in between” care while they are awaiting Medicaid or disability.
When the clinic was established most funding came from a few churches and grants. Grants are very difficult to obtain today. Only one church from Logan County provides financial support. Today most funding comes from proceeds from Charitable Bingo. But the economy has even hindered those proceeds. In addition Charitable Bingo requires at least 16 hours of six to eight volunteers per week, for a total of 96-128 hours per week. We do have several patients, board members, and clinic staff including the Medical Director and APRN volunteering their time to work each session. Why? Because we believe in our mission, we know the benefit we provide to those in need and we believe we are continuing the work of Jesus Christ.
Recently we have started a fund raiser, mostly through letter requesting donations. Unfortunately we have not received any donations from Logan County. I am writing this letter to provide the citizens of Logan County knowledge of just what Helping Hands Health Clinic does and to make citizens aware that although the clinic is located in Elkton, 46 % of our patients are from Logan County. Hopefully this information will be an encouragement to the citizen of Logan County who are financially able to donate to do so, to make the churches of Logan County more aware of our Christian mission in hopes they will feel compelled to contribute, and to encourage civic groups to volunteer time or donate. You can visit our website, www.hhhc.info for a list of items we accept; make a donation through PayPal, or you can mail a donation to HHHC, P.O. Box 263, Elkton, KY 42220. We are a 501(c)(3), so all donations can be taken as a tax deduction.
P.S. Do not be misled that the Affordable Care Act is going to provide insurance for all our clients. It is estimated that of the 749,000 Kentuckians that are currently uninsured, after its full implementation in 2014 there will still be approximately 400,000 Kentuckians who will remain uninsured.
Anita Jo Powell, RN