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In North Clark County there are 61,000 people without health care insurance. This staggering statistic inspired the creation of Battle Ground Health Care, a free chronic care clinic that opened in May 2011.
On Wednesday, December 17th, 2013, Battle Ground Health Care Clinic was presented a grant in the amount of $184,561 from Deputy Attorney General Dave Horn. Commenting that the grant is tied back to the Pfizer settlement Horn stated, “a little bit of justice was done here today.” When asked about the future of Battle Ground Health Clinic amongst the Affordable Care Act rollout, he stated,” I don’t think this clinic is going to run out of work any time soon.”
Kristen Turek, Senior Philanthropic Advisor for the Community Foundation located in Vancouver also presented a check for $5,000 from the Jane Onsdorff Malmquist Charaitable Fund. These funds were designated to help provide dental services to the community. The clinic relies on donations and grants to provide services.
Limited dental services
Recently, Battle Ground Health Care Clinic added limited dental care to its services such as cleaning, extractions, and fillings. They believe that dental health is a major player in overall health, especially when 72% of those living in North Clark County have not seen a dentist in the past year.
Community rallies equipment
“Everything was given to Battle Ground Health Care by God,” said executive director Ruthie Gohl.
Vancouver Clinic donated a large amount of furniture. The Adventist Medical Center donated computers and a telephone systems, while also providing free technical support to keep these items running. Legacy Health System has offered to supply free laboratory and x-ray services, and Clark College donated a significant amount of dental equipment. Hays Cabinets in Woodland, Washington supplied the cabinets and Patterson Dental has provided dental supplies. “All these people working together are what make this clinic work and run.” said Gohl.
Help for those that qualify
In order to receive services at Battle Ground Health Care, patients must meet certain requirements: They must be between the ages of 18 and 65, live in North Clark County, and be at 200% or less of poverty level. Battle Ground Health Care clinic treats patients with chronic illness such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. The clinic operates with a volunteer staff of about 80, and is currently open Wednesday evenings.
This grant makes it possible for Battle Ground Health Care clinic to expand their work with patients in making life style changes. Using occupational and physical therapy, the clinic wants to encourage patients to become more active through education, exercise and diet changes. Anxiety and depression sometimes afflict chronic illness patients; now Battle Ground Health Care clinic can address these issues even more.