Marshall County looking at free, low cost clinic

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

MARSHALL COUNTY, KY-   It is Saturday morning when Judy Smith announces, "I have a vision for this clinic."

 

She is walking in to what used to house the Home Health building in Benton.  The building has sat empty for a year. But now, Smith is ready to get to work.

"Rock and roll," she tells us with a smile.

Smith, a nurse, sayid she has seen things get worse over time and now people cannot afford health care.  Her husband, emergency room doctor, Graham Smith has teamed up with her to open the community clinic.

He says it did not take much convincing, "It gets frustrating because we see the people come in, we know what they need but they can't afford it. We know what they should have had and they didn't get it."

The pair are pushing to transform the building into a clinic that will also house a pharmacy.  The Marshall County Hospital Board has agreed to donate the building at no cost.  It would be staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, some who have already stepped forward.

"We don't see any reason why we can't be opened by November at the latest," Dr. Smith said.

Details are still being worked out but patients would receive care for free or at a low cost.

"I decided on Agape Clinic, which means unconditional love for another. That's what it is, unconditional love for the community, to reach out and help someone that needs it," Judy Smith said of what she plans to call the non-profit.

Anyone interested in getting involved is asked to attend informational meetings.  One will be held Monday, March 26th at 7:30 p.m. at the Calvert City United Methodist Church. The group will also meet Monday, April 9th at 7 p.m. at the Hardin Community Building.

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