ST. GEORGE – On June 21, the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic of St. George will be opening its recent expansion in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Due to the increasing difficulties faced by families and individuals because of the souring economy, the need for the Clinic’s services have increased by 30 percent in the last year alone.
“We were seeing patients in storage closets and dentist chairs,” said DeAnne Staheli, the Clinic’s director.
An estimated 12,000 patients were served by the Volunteer Clinic last year. Among them, Staheli noted that 55 percent were unemployed, while 45 percent were employed or in a state of under employment.
“We’re here to provide a state of quality medical care to people who have lost their jobs, their homes, or who have been denied health insurance,” Staheli stated in a press release. “There is no difference between the people who come to the clinic and you and me.”
While there has been a surge in patients, there has also been a notable decline in donations to the Volunteer Clinic. As the Clinic is a community-based, nonprofit organization, it is funded entirely through grants and donations. As they are able to, patients are also asked to make a small donation to the Clinic of $5 to $10.
Staheli added that the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic does not seek government money, as the potential strings and red tape attached to such financial support is seen as being more trouble than it is worth.
On April 6 of this year, ground was broken to make way for the new, 2,000 square foot expansion to the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic. Labor and materials have been donated from local contractors, with funds coming from private citizens. A donation of $50,000 from the Eccles Foundation has also helped offset some of the cost of the expansion.
The Volunteer Clinic still needs an additional $50,000. Staheli is asking for help from the community to raise the additional sum in order to cap the funding needed for the overall project.
The Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic was opened in 1999 by Dr. Paul Doxey, and has grown to offer a myriad of dental, medical, and mental services to those in need. Local doctors, dentists, nurses, and organizations donate their time and talents to help ensure that patients of the Clinic receive the utmost care, and are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
In 2009, the former governor of Utah, John Huntsman, Jr., applauded the efforts of the Clinic in an address before the state legislature, and praised the volunteers of the Clinic for their goodness and humanitarianism.
The ribbon cutting ceremony marks the official opening of the Volunteer Clinic’s new addition will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2011. Members of the St. George City Council will be present and a light lunch will be served. Visitors are encouraged to take tours of the facility and see all that the Clinic has to offer.
For more information on the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic, or to make a donation, go to the Clinic’s website at: http://www.doctorsvolunteerclinic.org/.
Copyright St. George News 2011.