Macon Volunteer Clinic, Rehoboth Volunteer Dental Clinic Use GBHCMF Grants for Care
Macon, Ga. (June 5, 2023) – More than one in four Macon-Bibb County residents live at or below the poverty level according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Even above poverty level, many more people in the heart of Georgia cannot afford basic health or dental insurance even though they may work several jobs to make ends meet.
Two Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation grant recipients, Macon Volunteer Clinic and Rehoboth Volunteer Dental Clinic in Byron near Warner Robins, daily meet the needs of underinsured and non-insured people with either free or significantly reduced services.
Macon Volunteer Clinic provides a primary care medical home, at no cost, to working, uninsured, low-income adults of Macon-Bibb and Twigg counties, with more than 7,600 patient encounters in 2022. Most of these patients are working, many of them having two, three, and four jobs, and either have no employer-provided health insurance or face premiums and co-pays that vie for other critical life expenses, such as rent and food. The clinic relies heavily on the generosity of medical and dental professionals who give of their time to see patients and provide care.
“These are active doctors who have busy practices and come after work,” said Nancy White, Macon Volunteer Clinic Executive Director. “Dermatology, neurology, orthopedics, gynecology, and we even have an acupuncturist who comes, and they all so freely give up their time. And then there are retired physicians who want to stay active and engaged in their retirement years.
“We are a primary care medical home for working uninsured adults in our community who otherwise would just go without. When you’re uninsured and have to pay out of pocket for healthcare, you simply have to choose between food on your table, clothing your children, or filling prescriptions, and we take that burden away,” she said.
Rehoboth Volunteer Dental Clinic in Byron began as a ministry of the Rehoboth Baptist Association in Warner Robins, for local and migrant laborers working peach and other crops in rural Peach, Houston, Taylor, and Crawford counties. Dental services include restorations, extractions, prophylaxis, fluoride treatments, and dental education. The clinic also offers spiritual counseling to patients, many of whom are homeless or in other poverty distress.
“Most of our patients have very little income. Some have none. We have a lot of homeless people in this area, and people who may be addicts. It’s amazing, those who come in here and say, ‘I’m looking for a job, but I can’t smile, and they won’t hire me if I can’t smile. I just want to be able to smile again.’ We see patients like that nearly every day who are trying to get back into the community and make something of their lives,” said Teresa Woodberry, Director of Rehoboth Dental Clinic.
“These clinics are reaching people who otherwise might not be helped in our society,” said Larry Wynn, Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation. “We strongly believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about first meeting a person’s physical needs, which can then open the door to meeting their spiritual needs.”
About the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation (GBHCMF): The GBHCMF exists to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ through the provision of healthcare grants to nonprofit healthcare providers. It manages charitable legacy assets from the Georgia Baptist Health Care System, which has a 100-year history of providing healing to those in need. Funds are expended in the form of grants supporting healthcare needs that benefit organizations and individuals across the state of Georgia. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For more information, please visit www.gbhcmf.org.
Published August 13, 2023