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Hands of Hope Clinic gets financial boost

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

A Stockbridge medical clinic serving low-income patients plans to use a $95,000 grant to help keep its doors open in 2010.

Kaiser Permanente announced recently that it will give the grant to the Hands of Hope Clinic, which is located on the campus of Henry Medical Center.

The check is expected to arrive in January, said Linda Banks, executive director of the clinic. The grant will be used to pay salaries for four staffers this year, she said.

"It was a blessing from God," she said. "We would have really been in a bind, had we not received this grant. We would have had to piecemeal our program, and salaries, from other resources."

In 2009, Hands of Hope Clinic had served 2,450 patients as of Nov. 30, according to Banks.

The facility provides free medical and dental care, as well as limited medications, to uninsured and underinsured Henry County residents. Services are provided by volunteer doctors and dentists, she said.

Kaiser Permanente chose the clinic to receive the grant because of the services it provides, said Gustavo Machado, media relations representative for Kaiser Permanente.

"One of [our] community benefit priorities is supporting safety-net clinics in the metropolitan Atlanta area," he said. "A safety-net organization refers to public hospitals and health systems, health-care districts, community health centers and clinics that provide free or discounted health-care services to medically underserved and uninsured populations, regardless of a patient's ability to pay."

Hands of Hope Clinic is located at 1010 Hospital Drive, in Stockbridge. It was founded in 2004, and initially operated out of McDonough Presbyterian Church.

A nonprofit organization, the clinic relies on volunteers, grants and fund-raisers to operate.

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On the net:

Hands of Hope Clinic:

www.handsofhopeclinic.org

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