Point Washington Medical Clinic
By Philip Justiss
‘Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.’”
John Wesley, Founder of the Methodist Church
On April 12th, the Wednesday of Holy Week, Point Washington Medical Clinic opened its doors to the community for the first time. The clinic, a ministry of Point Washington United Methodist Church (PWUMC), is located in the Stephens Center, directly behind the sanctuary at PWUMC. While the clinic does accept donations, there is no charge for treatment and insurance is not required. Dr. Patsy Vargos and Hillary Glenn, DNP, ARNP, the visionaries behind the clinic, are the physicians on duty and the clinic is also served by several volunteer nurses. In addition to the full volunteer medical staff, the clinic has several assisting in translation, check-in and health education.
Dr. Vargos made the mission clear. “We strive to deliver quality medical care in a safe, non-traditional setting. All patients are accepted. All ages are accepted. No documents, no pay statements, no insurance, no problem.”
“It’s such a great privilege to be able to provide this service to our community. I believe it adds so much value to an already unique and welcoming area such as Point Washington. We hope to see, serve and connect with our surrounding neighbors through this new outreach.” Hillary Glenn, DNP, ARNP.
The clinic will treat simple, straight forward, non-emergent ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, simple lacerations (tetanus can be given when indicated), simple infections of the ears, sinuses, and lungs, and seasonal allergies. The clinic will also offer required and preventative services such as school and sports physicals. Efforts have been made to procure medications that are reasonably priced. Emergency life-threatening ailments will be referred to the appropriate emergency room. Further, narcotics or controlled substances will not be dispensed.
Dr. Chris Eckert, senior pastor at PWUMC reiterated the church’s objective here. “Our mission is to reach out to the surrounding community of working poor with the practical service of caring: Attending to their needs in a very real way. As a church, we have recognized that we have not always connected to our neighbors as well as we could have. This is part of our effort to do better.”
Construction, restaurant, and retail workers often fall through the cracks due to their working hours and lack of health insurance provided by their employer. Point Washington Medical Clinic is an attempt to reach out in a very practical way. Local members recognized a need for primary medical care for the uninsured and working poor and are using their resources as a church to try to meet that need.
Jamey Gaines is a volunteer nurse at the clinic and member of Point Washington United Methodist Church. “Access to health care has become a luxury for many of our friends and neighbors in our community. With health care such a political hot topic and uncertainty, we wanted to start something to show that we care for the individual, no matter their circumstance. About two thousand years ago, Jesus said ‘Love your neighbor.’ Point Washington Medical Clinic is simply an extension of that commandment.”
The clinic is located at 1290 N. Co Hwy 395, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459 (Point Washington). It is currently open on Wednesdays from 7:30 am – 1:30 pm and patients are seen on a first come-first serve basis. Call 850.865.2335 or 850.231.4928 for more information. All efforts will be made to continue exams until all patients have been seen.
NOTA DEL EDITOR: Informamos al público Hispano de la apertura de esta clínica en Point Washington United Methodist Church! La clínica está en el 1290 N. County Hwy 395, Santa Rosa Beach, 32459 y opera los miércoles de7:30 am – 1:30pm. NO COBRAN POR LOS TRATAMIENTOS Y NO SE NECESITA ASEGURANZA! ¡Tienen personal capacitado para traducir! Lláme al 850.865.2335 o al 850.231.4928 para más información.