Ceciliana Skees SL Coordinates New Family Community Clinic
The grand opening of the Family Community Clinic was standing room only. On Saturday, January 15, at St. Joseph Church in Louisville, Kentucky, a new health care clinic opened that will provide free medical care to people who don’t have health insurance and to others in need. Dozens of supporters came to the event: parishioners, neighbors, and many members of the Loretto community.
Ceciliana Skees coordinated this parish project over two years. She received assistance from the pastor of St. Joseph, Fr. David Sanchez. He calls her “the angel who believes in the mission of this clinic.” He continues, “She gave countless hours volunteering. There were times she was on her hands and knees placing tile. She’s a blessing.” A core group of 75–80 parishioners volunteered in various ways, some with the actual renovation and others with donations. The clinic has a reception area, four exam rooms, a conference room and lab area. It will offer adult and pediatric services including treatment for colds and flu, minor injuries, school physicals, and vision and hearing tests. The clinic is open on Saturdays from 8:00 to noon.
Our Ceciliana is short and sweet, and so was her speech that day: “ We BELIEVE in possibilities. The Family Community Clinic was made possible with the help of many. Over 75 cash donations were made by individuals. The projected cost was cut in half by 18 companies who donated labor, equipment, fixtures, and money and 28 parishioners plus 12 other dedicated people who donated time and expertise to turn this old basement into a health care clinic. Some worked weeks to make this dream come true. It has been a pleasure working with them. I BELIEVE in miracles. My thanks go out to all who helped make this miracle happen.” Ceciliana will be 80 this year!
She worked with the architect and engineer for over a year to get the clinic ready. Initially, the projected cost to renovate the entire school building was $750,000. The parish decided to start a pilot clinic in the basement of the rectory instead.
The cost to renovate the space was estimated at $100,000. This seemed to be more achievable. Thanks to Ceciliana, the actual cost to renovate the basement rectory was approximately half of the projections of the architect. Parish families donated all of the medical supplies and equipment. Other donations include locks, doors, lighting, heating and air conditioning systems.
“Seeing the opening of this clinic means that we have done something wonderful to serve the poor,” said Ceciliana.
By Karen Cassidy, CoL