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Moore Free Care Clinic Board  Chair, Volunteers, and Staff cut the ribbon to their new clinic on April 29th,2004













Moore Free Care Clinic Opens

Free clinic is a key component to improving the overall health of the community.

April 29, 2004 - Carthage, NC - Just over one year ago several community leaders gathered informally to discuss the challenges faced by the county's growing uninsured and low-income populations and their ability to access health care services.

Armed only with their vision and seemingly boundless energy, they worked to raise operating funds, recruit dozens of the area's top medical professionals as volunteers, hire a clinic director and locate space and equipment for the clinic.

Today, the vision becomes a reality as the doors to the Moore Free Care Clinic open to its first patients. The non-profit clinic provides high-quality primary, preventive and specialty care health care services to Moore County's uninsured and low-income families.

"Today is the opening of the free clinic and we are so thankful for all the hands that have participated in the forming of this ministry of care over the people in our community. The hard work of board members, volunteers and the clinic's director have made this day a reality," says Rev. Mark W. Wethington, pastor of the Southern Pines United Methodist Church, a clinic founder and vice-chairman of its board of directors.

"Since we first gave birth to the idea of a free medical clinic, I've been amazed in the ways we've been blessed. Just about every week God would send us the right person with the talent we needed. Or we'd have another extraordinary event that when taken together with all the other events formed this clinic. This is a blessing for those that will be served and also for those that will share their skills with others," Wethington adds.

The clinic will play an important role in the community's safety net system by filling important health care gaps. The MFCC Board of Directors estimates that there are an approximately 4,500 uninsured people in the county who will seek care at the clinic. Many of these people are undocumented Hispanics. While dozens of organizations work to advocate for the uninsured, the Moore Free Care Clinic will be the primary community response to providing health care for those at risk.

"The Moore Free Care Clinic is a key component in providing health care to the uninsured residents of Moore County," says Dr. John F. Krahnert, Jr., a cardiac and thoracic surgeon and president of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic.

"The physicians of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic are proud to offer our support. We commend Dr. David Bruton and the MFCC Board of Directors for their perseverance in making a vision become a reality for Moore County. By partnering together we can make a difference in the quality of medicine provided to the citizens of Moore County."

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, a non-profit health care center, serves the uninsured and indigent population every day in Moore County, and was a lead funding resource for the clinic, providing a matching grant to the fundraising efforts of these physicians and surgeons.

"We recognize first hand the need for additional basic health care services in the community," says Charles T. Frock, president and chief executive of FirstHealth of the Carolinas. "We are pleased that we could work together with our local physicians to be part of the Moore Free Care Clinic. This clinic is another site for individuals to access health care and it is a step in the right direction to improve the overall health of our community."

Bruton, who chairs the MFCC board, took receipt of the lease on Tuesday for the clinic from the Moore County Board of Commissioners, who agreed to lease space at the Moore County Department of Health in Carthage to the clinic for $1 per year. Initially, the clinic will have one room for their office and use the exam rooms in the facility during the evening after the Health Department personnel have finished their work for the day.

The clinic's board of directors recently hired Laura "TJ" Tremper-Jones as the clinic's director. Jones, who is a nurse practitioner and fluent in Spanish, will manage all aspects of the daily operations of the clinic, including its pool of licensed medical staff and administrative volunteers.

The Moore Free Care Clinic will provide acute and chronic medical care; pharmaceutical company patient assistance program and drug discount card enrollment; focused laboratory and radiology testing and health education resources to thanks to the enthusiastic support of the community.

Late last year, a local resident provided an anonymous donation of $100,000 to the clinic. "This generous donation and those made by PSC and FirstHealth allowed the clinic to open as scheduled," states Dr. James A. Tart, cardiologist at Pinehurst Medical Clinic and chair of the clinic's development committee. As of this date, 95 local physicians led by Pinehurst Surgical Clinic have provided a funding jump-start to the clinic.

"We also had several businesses and residents of the community offer contributions of materials and supplies. Now that the clinic is open we are focusing our efforts on establishing an ongoing fundraising program that will endow the clinic's future operational needs," he adds.

For more information about the clinic, its volunteer opportunities or to provide a donation, please contact the clinic office at 910-947-6550 or visit the clinic's website, www.MooreFreeCare.org. Contributions to the clinic may be mailed to: Moore Free Care Clinic, P.O. Box 1656, Carthage, NC 28327.

ABOUT THE MOORE FREE CARE CLINIC

The Moore Free Care Clinic is a non-profit organization that provides free primary, preventive and specialty health care to limited income people living in Moore County who are uninsured and can't afford access to health care. The clinic is located at 705 Pinehurst Avenue, P.O. Box 1656, Carthage, NC 28327. For more information about the clinic, its volunteer opportunities or to provide a donation, please contact the clinic office at 910-947-6550 or visit the clinic's website, www.MooreFreeCare.org.