It was a sad day this past Monday for our Administrator, Sheri Noble, the volunteer staff, and the patients who have come to rely on Good Samaritan Care Clinic in Mountain View, Missouri. After sixteen years of providing free medical and dental care with over 34,000 clinic visits, the clinic is temporarily closing due to the Coronavirus.
Even with separating patients with sore throats, chills, fever and cough, and using surgical masks, gowns, gloves and lots of soap and disinfectant, we could not be sure at some time in the future that a patient would not present with minimal symptoms and be positive with the Coronavirus and expose another patient or a volunteer to the virus. Many of our volunteers are over 60 years of age, placing them at greater risk of contracting the virus with more complications.
The clinic and its board came to a conclusion. The only way we could really protect our patients, some with many health problems, and our volunteers, was to close the clinic. We hope this will be for a short duration.
On the average, one fourth of all prescriptions are not filled in the United States because patients cannot afford their medication. For this reason, the clinic dispenses medication to patients who cannot afford to pay for their meds, especially our diabetic and hypertensive patients. The board has given us the go-ahead to call in prescription refills to a pharmacy for those who have been receiving their medication at the clinic. If the patient is unable to pay out-of-pocket for the prescriptions, the clinic will pay for them until we have depleted our clinic fund and are no longer able to do so.
Most people do not realize the complexity of illnesses which Good Samaritan Care Clinic sees in the patients we treat who cannot afford health care. Many of our patients live from pay check to pay check. On a Monday Evening we will see an average of 35-45 patients. Last Monday we had two new patients we referred for possible life threatening malignancies, another patient was found to have a blood glucose of over 500 and she did not know she was a diabetic. An additional two young people came in with musculoskeletal injuries and another patient’s lab test came back positive for Influenza B. This past Monday evening we saw a total of 38 patients.
There is a very dark cloud coming over our world with the Coronavirus, but I believe this is a time for all of us to come together. Let’s put our political differences and prejudices aside, and once the cloud passes, we will have a better country and a better world.
Jon W Roberts DO
Medical Director Good Samaritan Care Clinic (volunteer)
P.S. If anyone would like to make a donation to help with prescriptions, a check can be sent to the clinic at P.O. Box 160, Mountain View, Missouri 65548 Thank you.