Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 27

'These clinics are putting people back on the road to good health,
which often enables them to continue employment, re-enter the
workforce and care for their families.'

e

-Donna Looper, executive director, Georgia Charitable Care Network

and donations, these organizations provide medical, dental, pharmaceutical, vision and behavioral health services to
economically disadvantaged patients. Some offer free services,
while others ask for nominal payments.
"So many people need help but can't afford health care,"
says Donna Looper, executive director of the Georgia Charitable
Care Network, which helps health care clinics around the state
organize and operate efficiently.
"Not everyone is offered insurance through their employer,
and as a result, there are many individuals who work and still
can't afford health care," she says. "Others have insurance but
don't have money for copays, deductibles or lifesaving drugs."
Looper estimates that 13 percent of Georgia's adults have
no insurance at all. Many more have some insurance, but it is
not adequate. To help serve these residents, 98 independent,
nonprofit clinics operate in Georgia. These organizations vary
in size, model and scope of services offered.
"These clinics are putting people back on the road to good
health, which often enables them to continue employment,
re-enter the workforce and care for their families," she says.

Small but mighty
Healing Hands Clinic patients begin lining up on the
sidewalk just after noon on Thursdays.
"We're small and see our patients on a first-come, firstserved basis, with the number of patients limited by the number

of medical providers we have on-site that particular Thursday
night," Gowens says. "That's why they arrive early. They're
sick, and they just want to make sure they can see a doctor."
As the patients congregate outside, Gowens often makes
last-minute phone calls to line up professionals to work.
"I have a list of several providers [doctors, nurse
practitioners, physician assistants and registered nurses] who
volunteer here," she says. "I try not to call on the same people
over and over again. It's a lot to ask providers to work all day at
their jobs, then come here on Thursdays and work for free
until 8."
Since opening its doors in 2014, Healing Hands has
served between 250 and 500 patients each year. Medical
professionals address both acute and chronic health problems
and help patients get medications. Volunteers search apps like
GoodRx and call around to local pharmacies to find the most
affordable prescription drugs for patients.
"We are able to serve our community through the
dedication of our volunteers and the generous donations
and assistance of churches, hospitals, medical practices,
businesses, civic groups and individuals," Gowens says. "And
we are always recruiting more volunteers and trying to raise
more money. The need is great."

Each is unique
Though there are similarities among volunteer medical

Volunteer Kent Van Arsdell,
MD, consults with a young
patient at Healing Hands Clinic
of Gordon County.

www.georgiamagazine.org

26-28_Volunteer_Med_Clinics_B_0320.indd 27

AMBER LANIER NAGLE

AMBER LANIER NAGLE

Volunteer Charry Chaapel, left, assists a client at Healing
Hands Clinic of Gordon County. Chaapel also coordinates
the dozens of non-medical volunteers who serve there on
Thursday evenings.

27

2/12/20 7:25 PM


http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - March 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 21
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 22
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 23
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 31
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 32
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 35
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 36
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 37
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 39
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 40
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 41
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 42
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 43
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 44
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 45
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - 46
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2020 - Cover4
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