According to the 2017 County Health Rankings, rural counties, those with a population of under 50,000 people, are suffering and struggling. Higher premature death rates(under 75 years old), poor access to clinic care, and some of the highest health care spending in the state, are all creating a black hole of despair for many local residents. Medication costs, chronic condition management, and affordable testing have become normal topics of conversation.
Our local emergency room has become a pit-stop for folks that keep putting off follow up care due to lack of funds and access to a primary care physician. Affordable dental care is non existent and our mental health services are so overwhelmed that it can take 3 months to get into a Psychologist. We face a healthcare shortage so drastic that Switzerland county is actually ranked at the very bottom of the state for accessible clinical care, as you can see by the health factors map above. As nurses, physicians, and local advocacy group representatives, the board of directors of the Volunteers in Medicine of Dearborn, Ohio, and Switzerland counties are well aware of these struggles and are working diligently to help fill the gaps.
What started as an idea of a local nurse, mother, and advocate, is now rolling down hill full steam ahead and is on its way to becoming a true benefit to our communities. Working towards the 501(c)3 approval for federal non-profit status while searching for a local facility with the space and structural requirements will take a few months. Staffing, volunteer recruiting, and scheduling will all come alongside credentialing and training and a myriad of other items.
There is much to be done before we will see our first patients. But we will advance steadily through our list of tasks and until that day comes, please know that this is our promise to you. The Dearborn Clinic will provide compassionate care with the true dignity deserving of every single person that comes into its doors. Patients will be respected, and given quality medical care every single day. Because it is the right thing to do.
If you are a medical professional or non-medical volunteer and are interested in learning more about how to help, please fill out the inquiry today! Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list for news and updates!