By Elizabeth Seal
Welcome back to Libby’s Corner where I get to share with you, our readers, health information and news about what we are doing at the Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County. That is a long sentence with an even longer title for our clinic. Why do we have such a long name? It came about because the intention is that the community supports the clinic to provide free care to the uninsured. Certainly, such good intentions come with responsibility, and we at the clinic must let the community know of our needs and ask for help to engage Aiken County in our mission.
Certainly, monetary support keeps us in business. Thank you to everyone who participated in our last fundraiser, Trivia Night. There will be more because without donations, we would not be able to open our doors. Besides monetary help, we ask for specific needs. Those who have medical, nursing, pharmacy, social work, or case management skills who are looking for a home to volunteer, we have a need for you. We have tried over the years to bring together other community resources, and we are grateful for successes. We believe we have many resources in the community which have and can play a role in helping those whose needs are great. With new leadership, we are reorganizing to add new players to our team.
I am proud today to announce some of our successes. We have continued our partnership with the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken). Please join me in welcoming undergraduate nursing students who are taking their community health education on the road this fall semester. They will both be observing and volunteering this fall at the clinic. So, if you meet any of the students while you are at the clinic take the time to welcome the next generation of new nurses. USC Aiken in 2021 was ranked first among the “Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges South” by U.S. News & World Report. While this is group of students are smart and adept at technology, coming to the clinic will give them an opportunity to see real life problems from the perspective of the patient. Help us grow new nurses. They are a scarce resource right now and will be thrust into leadership roles very quickly due to the demand. We look forward to sharing with them the reality of what we deal with daily, so when they are leaders, they understand their community.
We are also continuing our partnership with Augusta University School of Nursing. A nurse practitioner student will be continuing their education with me. We are thankful to continue this partnership as well and I am excited about precepting yet another student. Again, the opportunity to teach the reality of being unable to afford your medications and the consequences of the damage it ensues is an important lesson. Nurse practitioners working with physicians play a necessary role in health care today.
Over the next few months, we will announce our future community participants as we work together. We are reaching out to enroll new patients and are actively working on engaging new players. We will be a presence at NewSpring Church on some Fridays; look to hear more very soon. We had a very successful community outreach there recently. Thank you to Pastor Matt for welcoming us to his church and supporting our mission. And thanks to the many volunteers that were there that day.
Let me add a special thank you to Christ Central. One of my patients had a refrigerator that died, and he was not able to afford a new refrigerator. He is a diabetic and takes insulin. Without the generosity of Christ Central, who had a donated refrigerator, he would have had a big problem. Happily, we worked together to coordinate the delivery of a necessary working refrigerator for this patient. Christ Central does not usually have such appliances to donate; in this case the need was met. I have learned that it doesn’t hurt to ask, all someone can say is no. I will end this on a big thanks to our community for the support of the clinic and your neighbors, and if you want to help just call us. You just might find a home.