Family clinic at St. Joseph Church is expanding hours

By GLENN RUTHERFORD, Record Editor

The Family Community Clinic at St. Joseph Church in Louisville’s Butchertown neighborhood is expanding its hours.

The two-year-old clinic has been open each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon since its creation two years ago. Now the clinic’s executive director Beck Montague, says that beginning Feb. 5, the clinic will also be available from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each Tuesday.

The expanded hours, she said, are a direct response to the community’s need.

“It’s part of our strategic plan that we continue to add shifts until we become a clinic that’s open every day but Sunday,” she explained. “George Fischer (Louisville mayor Greg Fischer’s father and a member of the clinic’s board of directors) is always reminding us that there are 100,000 uninsured Louisvillians. And it’s certainly the mission of the clinic to reach out to the uninsured in our community and provide access to health care to them.”

The clinic, which follows Catholic health care directives, has been seeing an average of 16 to 20 patients during each four-hour session. “They come from all over the city and we’ve also had some patients from Southern Indiana,” Montague said. “We’ve had patients come to the clinic from every zip code in Metro Louisville.

The clinic is staffed by volunteer physicians “who are retired or in practices that allow them to be generous with their time,” the executive director said. “We have about 100 health care volunteers — about 15 physicians, another 10 to 15 nurse practitioners and another 15 to 20 nurses.”

Those nurses include RNs, certified nursing assistants, and certified nursing technicians, Montague said. “We also have probably 30 volunteers who assist us with working the front desk and managing the paper flow.”

On any given day when the clinic is open, she said, the staff usually includes two adult health care providers, a pediatrician, two or three nurses, someone to work the front desk, an interpreter to help Spanish-speaking patients, and someone who can manage the information-technology needs of the clinic.

Most of the patients who visit the clinic ask for help with colds, flu, sore throat infections, sinus problems — the gamut of health-care issues faced by people during winter months in the Ohio Valley.

“One of the interesting things that’s happened in my time here has been the number of medical specialists who’ve come to us wanting to volunteer,” Montague said. “We’ve had pulmonologists, urologists and other specialists come to us, and one of our goals is to find a way to capitalize on their willingness to volunteer.”

The clinic is always in need of additional doctor and nurse volunteers, she added. Those who want information about the clinic or who want to volunteer can call the clinic office at 384-8444.

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