There are several Bible verses that describe the volunteers who give of their time and ability to Providence Medical Clinic of Kingsport.
The first one being, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” Matthew 25:40.
Michelle Campbell, clinical coordinator/manager of Providence Medical Clinic, quoted that verse describing the kindness and compassion of the medical volunteers at this faith-based medical clinic located in downtown Kingsport.
Providence Medical Clinic is an outgrowth of the First Baptist Church in Kingsport, along with First Baptist Counseling Center and Celebrate Recovery, a 12-step Christian recovery ministry. Providence was created to offer spiritual support along with physical care. All medical care offered at the clinic is free.
For eligibility to receive services, a patient must be a citizen of Kingsport or Sullivan County, and have a household income at or below 120 percent of the poverty guideline.
Every Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., new patients can come to the clinic to complete an eligibility application and need to provide proof of income, such as Social Security benefits, pay stub and food stamps, along with a picture ID and a bill, such as power or water, with their current address. The clinic requires paperwork be filled out every year for continued eligibility.
On Thursday evenings, the clinic opens up from 6 to 8 p.m. and patients line up to see the volunteer physicians and nurses. It is ideal for the clinic to have three providers working for the number of patients typically seen in one evening. There are also specialty clinics, scheduled throughout the year, depending on the medical providers willing to donate their time to the clinic.
According to Dr. Marta Wayt, medical director at Providence Medical Clinic, patients receive comprehensive care for mind, body and spirit. They are always offered services from a spiritual counselor who will pray with them and offer Christian guidance and direction.
Often, through the spiritual services offered, other needs will come up and the volunteers will refer the patients to additional agencies who can serve their needs. The clinic offers patient education on medical issues, such as diabetes or hepatitis C, and will refer patients to alcohol and drug counseling services. Volunteers also assist patients in filling out paperwork to receive free (limited) prescriptions.
Wayt and Campbell shared several success stories, such as patients receiving donated surgical needs, and a woman receiving a mammogram who is now receiving treatment for cancer. They have also witnessed spiritual blessings of seeing patients praying, accepting Christ, and becoming involved in a church community.
Currently, the clinic has over approximately 600 patients enrolled and Wayt mentioned that the Affordable Care Act has not affected the number of patients they see, but has caused a slight increase of need.
“Our volunteers are always excited to come back and it reminds me of the scripture in the book of Acts, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive,’” Campbell said.
“The volunteers here give a whole lot more than what is required of them and this has been a very rewarding experience for me,” said Wayt, who has been the medical director since the doors opened four years ago and who volunteers every week.
“We always need clinical and clerical support, and licensed medical providers, from nurses to respiratory therapists to physicians, anyone who carries a current medical license can participate. We always have an ongoing need for volunteers,” said Wayt.
If you are interested in volunteering your services at Providence Medical Clinic, call 423-247-4536, stop by the office between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays at 441 Clay Street, Kingsport, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visit www.providenceclinickingsport.org.