Rural Georgia Launches Free Health Center for Underserved Residents

Providing health care and dental services for underserved people in Georgia

The Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center provided free health care and dental services to the poor and working poor living in rural Pickens County, Ga.

To be eligible for services, patients must have lived or worked in Pickens County for at least three months, have no access to health or prescription insurance and have an income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

More than 350 volunteers staff the wellness center, from active and retired health care professionals to office personnel.

Key Results

  • Some 2,000 patients received health care services from volunteer health care professionals; all told, patients made more than 10,000 visits.
  • Staff purchased dental equipment (surgical and prosthetic instruments) to be used by volunteer dentists to provide 100 prosthetic plates for dental patients.
  • Some 1,000 patients received prescription medications.
  • Some 150 x-rays were sent to outside experts for diagnosis.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided start-up support of $50,000 for the wellness center from mid-December 2002 to mid-June 2004.

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