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Louisville Promotes Health Care for the Medically Uninsured

Posted on December 1, 2016, by Loretto Community

By Sue Charmley

“Is there a doctor in the house?” This often-asked question was finally answered with a resounding “Yes!” Dec. 18, 2010, when the Family Community Clinic in Louisville, Ky., celebrated its open house. What made the clinic a reality were the dedication and work of many people led by George and Mary Lee Fischer, Mary Lee Eady and Ceciliana Skees. They were assisted by more than 75 parish volunteers.

Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer presents a plaque to Ceciliana Skees to honor the Family Community Clinic’s volunteers. Standing with Ceciliana is George Fischer.
Photo courtesy of Sue Charmley

This past September, George and Mary Lee Fischer hosted a reception for 200-plus supporters of the Family Community Clinic to celebrate its five years of service to Louisville’s families who have no health insurance. Among the volunteers who were thanked was Ceciliana. When Ceciliana was being introduced, George Fischer cheerfully called her “saint” in gratitude for her contributions and expertise in renovation and construction. Dr. Manuel Grimaldi, a retired physician, was also toasted for his many volunteer hours assisting families. In appreciation to all the volunteers who helped to create and run the clinic, Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer presented the clinic with a plaque from the city.

The Fischers financially backed the project while Mary Lee Eady, another parishioner and retired nurse, served as the clinic’s first nurse. She professionally developed the legal documents and secured the license to operate the clinic. Meanwhile, down in the St. Joseph Church rectory basement, Ceciliana organized the construction and worked along with the men who brought their skills to transform the space into a beautiful medical clinic. The results were a reception area and waiting room, a handicap accessible bathroom, four exam rooms, a pharmacy, a staff room, and supply storage space. Furnishings, donated from a clinic in Utah, included chairs and exam tables. The installation of the hardware and doors was done by a local company that volunteered its labor and materials. The heating and air-conditioning unit was another expensive component donated by a local company.

The clinic began small, serving patients on Saturday mornings. As word of the clinic spread, more days were added. Now it is open four evenings and on Saturday mornings. Since its beginning the clinic has served 8,000 persons.

The mission statement of the Family Community Clinic is “to improve the health of the medically uninsured in the Louisville Metro and surrounding areas by providing high quality free healthcare services and wellness education to those who lack appropriate alternatives.” Family Community Clinic volunteers recognize the ministry of healing and compassion. They respect the right of each person to basic health care and the importance of promoting health in the community.


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