Samaritan Clinic serves the uninsured - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Samaritan Clinic serves the uninsured

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As the economy struggles to rebound, people continue to lose jobs and as a result, lose their health insurance.

Those numbers are only expected to grow.

In Dougherty County, roughly 20 percent of people are uninsured or under-insured, but there is help out there.

The Samaritan Clinic serves those folks, getting them the medical help they need.

Margaret Fillmore is thrilled to be here today, thanking those who made her surgery a success.

"My stomach had stretched to its limits, and I don't know what would have happened," said Margaret Fillmore, Samaritan patient.

Fillmore had a tumor, it weighed 25 pounds.

"My stomach was protruding at the time, the tumor had grown very large," said Fillmore.

She didn't qualify for Medicaid.

"I had no insurance, and needed surgery and DFACS referred me to the Samaritan Clinic," said Fillmore.

In January of last year the clinic started seeing patients who had no insurance.

"All of the services provided my Samaritan are by doctors who volunteer their time," said Paulette Cooper, Samaritan Clinic Manager.

"The doctors at Phoebe got me in contact with Dr. Troy Kimsey who did the surgery," said Fillmore.

At the first Hands of Hope fundraiser and banquet those doctors and business partners who give patients like Margaret Fillmore hope were honored.

"Our hands have come together to spread healthcare in a community where there's a gap and there are people who are under served. We have patients that travel from nearby towns and cities to access healthcare here," said Cooper.

"There are so many people like myself who need surgery or medical care and they don't have the funds. If it was not for them, I would not have had the surgery that I had in April," said Fillmore.

Lifesaving medical help she and others in at the banquet received through the Samaritan Clinic.

The clinic is located at 802 North Jefferson Street.

Mt. Zion Church, Second Mt. Zion, Phoebe Putney and several other community partners worked together to start the clinic.

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