The Little Clinic That Could
Life has really settled down a little over 5 months into my
job at the Martin County Health Department and my little satellite clinic in
Oak City. As mentioned in previous posts, the Oak City Clinic was renovated
from a little firehouse by a $56,000 grant from the GoldenLeaf Foundation.
There was little money for necessary accoutrements so my nurse Paula and I put
our own money into making the signs, installing a partition to separate the
open waiting area from the height-weight area, buying stirrup covers, speculum
buckets, cordless telephones, etc.
We put our hearts and souls into our clinic, as has our
clerk, Miss Vicky, who came out of retirement to work the clinic one day a
week. To put the word out, she recently placed an ad on her favorite gospel
station touting the services of our clinic, saying "I really want to see this
As was famously said in the film, Fields of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come." Last Tuesday,
I walked into the clinic and found 6 patients waiting, talking amongst
themselves. There was a bit of a wait but no one complained. A lady who was in
for elevated blood pressure last week (crazy high BPs are prevalent in this
area) came in this week for the Pap and pelvic I talked her into. Her
appearance was so different that I barely recognized her. I said, "You look so
pretty! Where are you going?" She replied with a big smile, "To see y'all!"
A gentleman who was partially certified for his truck
driving certification due to elevated BP 3 months ago, returned 10 pounds thinner
and dressed Ralph Lauren preppy for the visit. He received his full
certification and told us as he walked out, "This has been a wonderful experience.
We're blessed to have y'all here in Oak City."
Paula, Miss Vicky and I feel we are the ones who are truly
blessed. Words cannot describe the feeling of knowing that we are making a
difference in a long-neglected community, and the gratification of loving every
minute of doing what we do. The mayor of Oak City, who participated in the
ribbon-cutting ceremony for the clinic 5 months ago, has asked for a second
day. The district management is giving it serious consideration. The little
clinic that could trucks on!