The Lake of the Woods Church is involved in an effort to establish a free health clinic in eastern Orange County to meet the needs of the “working poor.”
The clinic is looking for volunteers to serve the clinic in any capacity. Click the link below to fill out a questionnaire to indicate your interest.
Click below to view a video about the project.
+ + + + +
Additional information is available below:
LIVING WATER COMMUNITY CLINIC
MAKING CHRIST KNOWN IN SERVING OUR COMMUNITY
The Lake of the Woods Church has always been a missions Church with members and attendees reaching out in over 75 ways to meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of our neighbors. Pastor Adam Colson was recently appointed as pastor for Community Missions as further commitment to identify people in need in Orange County and beyond. And to also find ways the Church can use its resources to extend help in the name of Jesus Christ.
There are almost 6,000 uninsured people in Orange County, Virginia, and over 17,000 uninsured people in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The suggestion of a free Clinic in this area has been raised in the past, but recent discussions with The Orange Free Clinic stirred the Community Missions Leadership Action Committee to pursue the opportunity to serve the community through providing healthcare to those who cannot afford it otherwise. The Orange County Free Clinic Director said they need help. They have grown to capacity with patients and resources. Over 17% (approximately 460) of their patients live in the Lake of the Woods area, and they believe even more may need healthcare but have transportation challenges.
A dedicated working group within the Committee began a feasibility study for a Free Clinic in the eastern part of Orange County. The new Free Clinic, Living Water Community Clinic, would provide healthcare services, and would also provide for the spiritual and emotional needs of the patients.
Living Water Community Clinic would serve uninsured patients whose household incomes do not exceed the 200% federal poverty level. These individuals are sometimes referred to as the working poor – people whose incomes do not allow them to afford healthcare. Often, they have to choose between food, shelter and health insurance. According to the Virginia Health Care Foundation, the vast majority of non-elderly uninsured are part of working families. Because of Virginia’s strict guidelines, they cannot qualify for Medicaid. In other words, a family of four earning $48,500 a year would be considered at or below the 200% federal poverty level. Uninsured patients’ health suffers severely. Uninsured Americans have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with late-stage cancers, and a far lower rate of receiving important screening tests. This is mainly due to the fact that uninsured patients wait until they are very, very sick to seek any medical care because they are unable to afford it.
Services provided by the Free Clinic would include acute care, free counseling services, free prescription services, referral to medical specialists when necessary, and access to free laboratory and x-ray services. The Clinic would operate under the umbrella of a Medical Director, and would be staffed with volunteer clinicians (physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses), and unlicensed volunteers for administrative and clerical responsibilities. Insurance and risk management for licensed clinician volunteers and other volunteers would be covered by the Virginia Division of Risk Management (DRM).
The first year budget, including start-up costs, would be approximately $30,000. This includes the rental cost of a space already set up as a clinical facility, in a location that would serve the need in the eastern part of Orange County very well. The site is located at the Locust Grove Shopping Center on Route 20, which previously housed 20/20 Vision Center. Other sites have been considered, but the locations are not optimum and the rent requirements are considerably higher.
We have been talking with other churches in the community as well as community businesses, community organizations, and healthcare agencies for support. The interest has been huge. To date, we have raised over $22,100 in designated funds from individuals and community organizations, which almost covers the first year’s budget plus startup costs, and interest continues to grow. Fundraising will continue to be part of providing the financial resources needed for the clinic. There are many opportunities to apply for grants to cover the operational costs of a free clinic, and we will aggressively pursue these opportunities. Our expectations are that Living Water Community Clinic will support itself through designated gifts, fundraising initiatives, and grants. The major funding of a free clinic must be by the community with the church being a catalyst, providing leadership and service.
The working group has been working on a feasibility study for the last several months and has met with several free clinics in the area to learn about requirements, best practices, and lessons learned. Recently, the landlord for the desired site has indicated there is additional interest in the site, and he must move forward with renting the space. We have been in discussions with him, and have asked about the possibility of renting the space for a three-month period to bring health screenings and community missions events to the community as the feasibility team continues to do their due diligence in planning for a possible free clinic. He has agreed to a three-month lease. Funding for the three-month period has already been raised.
The Community Missions Leadership Action Committee presented the initial plan to the Board of Elders on June 22, 2015. The Board passed the following motions:
- Approval to pursue the three-month lease of 20/20 vision. The location can be used for other screenings as more specific commitments and information is gathered for the possibility of the Free Clinic.
- Approval to further pursue the research to establish the Free Clinic including fundraising.
One of the motions involves leasing a space outside of the Church property. According to the Church By-laws, this requires approval by the congregation.
We desire the support of the congregation of Living Water Community Clinic.
We ask for a vote of yes to move forward with leasing the property for three months and to authorize the Board of Elders to further extend the lease should they desire to do so. Thank you.
Adam C. Colson
Community Missions Pastor
Community Missions Leadership Action Committee
Frequently Asked Questions
Pertaining to Living Water Community Clinic
1. Where is the funding coming from for the clinic?
The funding for the clinic will come from many resources: donations from individuals, grants from hospitals (such as Mary Washington), charitable trusts, organizations, and community fundraisers. Our church has been blessed with two individuals with education and/or experience in writing medical grants. After looking at our clinic plan, Mary Washington Hospital is currently putting together information that we need for Grants that they feel we qualify for.
2. What is The Lake of the Woods Church’s financial role?
The church’s primary role is as a catalyst for the community. We will provide leadership, serve in the clinic, and fundraise in the community. The church’s budgeted contribution will be negligible.
3. What is the liability to the church?
Pastor Colson has met with a law firm in Fredericksburg who is currently putting together a written legal document pertaining to the church’s liability. After meeting and looking at our proposal and plan, the attorney has shared that the church individuals, leaders and trustees are indeed covered under Virginia’s Good Samaritan code, and therefore barring any blatant negligence (i.e. knowingly putting an unlicensed medical director or volunteer to treat patients, or misappropriation of funds) all would be protected from negligence under this code. The church is also covered by its own insurance. The church has access to any needed legal advice.
4. How will the medical director and medical volunteers be vetted?
All volunteers will have a background check run on them. Medical volunteers will also be checked for current and valid medical licenses and good standing in the community.
5. What role, can a volunteer that does not have medical background play?
The clinic will run entirely with volunteers. That being said, there are many roles for non-medical volunteers. Registering patients, stocking supplies, typing medical forms, cleaning, working at fundraisers, are just some of the important ways volunteers can be involved. Please see Pastor Colson for more information and/or to volunteer.
6. How will this clinic be operated in Christ’ name?
Patients before leaving will go through an exit interview after each visit. In that interview we will enquire about any other concerns they have and advise them of the church ministries available to them. They also will have a chance to hear about God’s love for them and His desire to have a personal relationship with them. This will be done by carefully trained individuals. Church announcements, Biblical reflections, Spiritual quotes and snippets from sermons will be displayed on monitors in the waiting room.
7. Who does this clinic target?
This clinic targets the “working poor” who cannot afford health care. We will not take patients on Medicare or Medicaid as they can be seen at other area clinics and as a Free Clinic we cannot process insurance claims, or receive payment for any treatments.