Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic to host open house celebrating 20 years of providing affordable health care

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ST. GEORGE —  On Tuesday, the Doctors Volunteer Clinic of St. George will host an open house to celebrate 20 years of bringing affordable health care to those in the community who can’t afford it.

On Feb. 19, 1999, the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic was created due to seeing a need for affordable health care access, said DeAnne Staheli, director of the clinic. What began with two retired physicians has spanned into 35 volunteers — including physicians, psychiatrists and dentists — donating their time to offer affordable and timely health care to the uninsured.

The clinic now has a mental health clinic, dental clinic and various specialty clinics, like a urology clinic and pediatric clinic, and over the past 20 years, the number of annual patient visits they have been able to provide has grown by over 300 percent.

“The first year, in 1999, the clinic had a total of 3,000 patient visits,” Staheli said. “Now 20 years later we saw over 13,000 patient visits by the end of 2018.”

As a result of the clinic’s physicians, psychiatrists and dentists volunteering their time and services, the clinic is able to keep the cost per patient at $34 per visit.

Since its creation, Staheli said she and other volunteers have seen an increase in need for mental health services and that this is one of the areas where they would like to grow.

“There are many people who are in crisis or are suicidal and are unable to access services that they can afford, or are put on a waiting list for an appointment,” Staheli said. “It is important that they are able to access services quickly, as the risk for harm to themselves is high.”

The clinic currently offers an open appointment every day at noon for anyone who is having a crisis or is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Staheli said the current need is to expand that service to four hours a day.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the clinic will be hosting an open house Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where people can meet the volunteers, tour the clinic and enjoy music and food from local food trucks. A donation booth will also be set up outside, where people can drive-thru and donate if they wish to.

For additional information on the clinic and clinic hours, you can visit the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic website.

Event details

  • What: The Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic of St. George 20th anniversary open house.
  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic of St. George, located at 1036 E. Riverside Dr.

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

 

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