Church, clinic team up for free monthly health fair

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

By Susan Shinn

For The Salisbury Post

From now through March 2016, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and the Community Care Clinic are teaming up to offer a free health fair on the second Wednesday evening of the month.

The first clinic at the church, 2570 St. Peter’s Church Road, drew only a few folks, but organizers say they’re off to a good start.

The monthly event is the brainchild of Debbie Hill, a clinic employee and 29-year resident of Gold Hill. She’d been encouraging the clinic’s executive director, Krista Woolly, to offer satellite services in the eastern part of the county for some time.

Meanwhile, the Rev. Sean Barrett came to St. Peter’s last summer. Soon after, he met the Rev. Rhodes Woolly, senior pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, who just happens to be Woolly’s husband.

Barrett and Hill met when he and his wife toured the clinic, and soon after, the two began making plans to offer the clinic of which Hill had dreamed.

“Our council has come right on board with this plan,” Barrett said yesterday afternoon. “Our Lutheran Men in Mission will be offering a free meal every month. We have been trying to think of creative and cheap ways to get the word out.”

That included sharing posters with 40 local churches in the East Rowan area, and Barrett also wrote a column about the effort for the Post’s Faith page.

“That was a huge help,” he said.

Each month, the clinic will offer medical and dental screenings, and a hot meal. Wednesday’s menu included pinto beans, slaw, cornbread and dessert.

Steve Schenk of the church’s Lutheran Men in Mission’s group, which is sponsoring the meals, said the congregation fed about 65-70 people a week this summer with its weekly hamburger and hot dog nights.

Woolly and her staff have invited other community agencies to be a part of this project. Last night, representatives from the Department of Social Services were on hand to assist with Medicaid applications. Staff members from Northern Rowan Family Medicine, a new Federally Qualified Health Center which opened in August, were present to answer questions about their facility. The practice accepts Medicaid and Medicare patients, and provides a sliding scale for fees as well.

Raven Lowery, a certified application counselor for Affordable Health Care, is about to spend her third year with Community Care Clinic during the insurance plan’s enrollment period. She also was available to answer questions about the nationwide insurance exchange program.

Hill was thrilled that her plan for the health fair has finally been set in motion.

“I live just a few miles up the road,” says Hill, who has recently been a Sunday visitor to St. Peter’s, too. “It’s a haul to come to Salisbury to the Community Care Clinic. There are transportation issues for folks down this way.”

The next health fair is set for Nov. 11. For more information, call the Community Care Clinic at 704-636-4523.