Free health clinic to launch services on Thursday

Monday, November 7, 2005

EUREKA SPRINGS -- Eureka Christian Health Outreach (ECHO) conducted training for operations on Thursday, and will launch bi-monthly clinics on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the lower level of Faith Christian Family Church, 157 Huntsville Road (Ark. Hwy. 23 South).

The interdenominational effort's doors will open for the first time on Nov. 10 from 5 to 9 p.m., and will operate twice a month on the second and fourth Thursdays, holidays excluded.

The free medical clinic is for persons who are at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level -- $2,000 a month for a family of four -- and do not have health insurance of any kind, including Medicaid, Medicare, ARKids and VA benefits. Proof of income will be required.

A hot meal will be provided free from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and doctors will begin seeing patients at 6 p.m.

Social services are also available, as well as spiritual and secular counseling. Childcare is also provided.

The clinic is staffed by volunteers from the community, and participating doctors are Drs. Dan Bell, Greg Kresse, Vianne France and Charles Beard.

A pharmacy is available for medications, but controlled substances will not be dispensed. Long-term medications can be arranged. Nurse practitioners have volunteered to assist in the clinics, as well as pharmacists.

Volunteers are also needed on a continuing basis to serve as hosts and to assist in set-up, break-down, clean-up and running errands.

Service is available to all Carroll County residents.

Long-range plans call for the addition of services by optometrists, opticians and dentists.

For more information, telephone Suzie Bell at (479) 253-7774. To make a donation, write: ECHO Inc., c/o First United Methodist Church, 195 Huntsville Road, Eureka Springs, AR72632; or telephone Mrs. Bell.

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