LOGAN — A free health clinic will be open to the public Thursday evening in Logan.
The clinic, which operates monthly, is run on an all-volunteer basis. Led by the semi-retired Dr. George Ralph, it offers free outpatient services once a month at local churches.
The clinics started a little over 10 years ago, Dr. Ralph said.
“A group of us went on a medical mission trip, from the Nazarene church in town,” Ralph said. “When we came back, we thought ‘well, we should be doing something like that locally.’”
The clinic initially started for the uninsured or people with unaffordable co-pays, Ralph said. The clinic also tried to prescribe affordable prescriptions from providers such as Walmart. Since its inception, the clinic has received donations that help pay for prescriptions, Ralph added.
“We see people in an outpatient setting,” he explained. “Adults and children – we don’t really do any lab work or anything, we just do the exam and write the prescription for their needs.”
At one point, Ralph and his team were holding clinics twice a month, he said, even seeing upwards of 20 people. Numbers vary clinic to clinic, Ralph said, but at the moment clinics have been drawing five to 10 people. For the time being, Ralph and company are playing it by ear, due both to inclement weather and the coronavirus.
The clinic has adapted to the pandemic as has everyone else – with masks and distancing, Ralph said. Patients wait in their vehicles until it is their time to be seen by staff. Some clinics took place outdoors last fall, Dr. Ralph said, but this week’s will be in the foyer of the Logan Church of the Nazarene.
At the moment, a volunteer staff of four is working at the clinic, Katie Angle, a volunteer, said in a message. The clinic isn’t accepting new volunteers at the moment due to capacity.
Outside the clinic, Dr. Ralph said he and staff keep patients’ prescriptions filled in advance.
Schedules for the free monthly clinics are usually posted on bulletin boards in the Hocking Valley Community Hospital’s ER and urgent care, Ralph said. The free clinics are open to treat basic needs, he added.
“Any kind of sinus infection, cough, (gastrointestinal) problem ... mostly things you’d go see your doctor in a doctor’s office (for),” Dr. Ralph said.
This week’s clinic, which takes place today (Thursday, Feb. 18), will be open from 6-7 p.m. at the Logan Church of the Nazarene, 650 Walhonding Avenue.
The clinic does not require proof of insurance. However, patients should bring any pertinent health history/information and a list of current medications, Angle said in a message.