Mobile clinic serves uninsured, including Escambia County

Published 11:25 pm Monday, August 23, 2004

By By ANNA M. LEE Managing Editor
For the uninsured, medical treatment falls behind utilities and groceries and possibly many other things in a priority list of expenses, but that doesn't have to be the case.
Victory Health Partners (VHP), located in Mobile, is a low-cost medical clinic serving uninsured people from the surrounding area, including Escambia County.
VHP is entirely run by volunteers and charges, ranging from $5 to $35 per visit, are based on the patient's income, according to Dr. Delaine Salter of Atmore, who has been volunteering with the clinic for about eight months.
VHP is a non-profit, faith-based organization that was established in 1999 by Dr. Robert Lightfoot and his wife. VHP's mission is "to minister to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the medically underserved, specifically low income individuals who cannot afford private medical insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, by providing affordable high-quality healthcare services."
With more than a year of service as a clinic, VHP has more than 1,700 qualified patients, said in-service coordinator Katherine Maher.
"While VHP provides affordable care to the uninsured, it is not a free clinic," Maher said. "Patients are required to pay a small co-payment at the office visit. Fees are calculated on a sliding scale based on family size, income and circumstances. Lab fees are a separate charge and are also due at time of service."
The clinic provides pulmonary services, counseling services, lab services, diabetic education classes, osteoporosis screenings, eye exams, free breast and cervical cancer screenings and a stop smoking class. These specialty services are provided to patients by more than 150 volunteer physicians at no cost. Soon the clinic hopes to offer dental services as well.
Salter said that those involved with VHP are willing to visit churches, civic organizations and other groups to introduce people to how the clinic can help the uninsured.
"If this thing goes over well, maybe we will have satellite offices in the future," she said.
VHP is located at 3750 Professional Parkway in Mobile, and patients can call 251-460-0999 for more information. The clinic is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and half days on Thursday and Friday.
VHP is hosting an art reception on Sunday, Sept. 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. and the public is invited to come view their art collection.
"When the building was being renovated, Jacque Butler was enlisted as a volunteer to decorate the clinic. She went to many local artists asking for donations - the response was overwhelming. Several works were painted especially for Victory such as Loran Chavez's 'Angel Over My Shoulder' and Mary Ann Trovato's 'Take This Cup.' Ann Calagaz turned exam rooms into works of art along with donating her prints and paintings," Maher said. "Other rooms were painted by church groups with wonderful themes and loving care. Some rooms were done by family members to honor loved ones. Each gift just fell into place and rooms were decorated to match. Scriptures accompany many paintings and are dispersed throughout the center. From Linda Ledet's series 'In the beginning God created…' to Bill Morris' 'Mother Teresa,' Victory Health Partners is as richly appointed as any art gallery."

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