Since its founding in 2009, Heart and Soul Clinic has grown every year. This spring, the free clinic for the uninsured and underinsured will grow even more, this time in the form of providing mobile service.
Heart and Soul Clinic recently purchased a $44,000 RV to create the first traveling clinic of its kind in Hamilton County. The idea came about when clinic officials visited local food banks to educate patients on the nonprofit’s outreach, only to find that many patients have no transportation to the Westfield clinic.
“Some patients weren’t able to get here, so while we are willing to provide care to the at-risk population not able to receive medical and dental care due to lack of insurance, we found another roadblock to not being able to access care,” Heart and Soul Executive Director Danny Carroll said. “We believe no one should be denied health care because of a lack of income or lack of insurance, but also because of a lack of transportation. So, to meet that need, we decided let’s invest in a mobile unit to take medical (care) to places throughout Hamilton County.”
Carroll visited multiple RV parks and tried out approximately 70 RVs. Since patients’ privacy is involved, Heart and Soul Clinic needed an RV with a bedroom fully sectioned off from the rest of the vehicle. Carroll found what he was looking for at Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield.
When Mount Comfort RV heard of the need, they knocked $6,000 off the vehicle’s price.
“They were very cooperative in wanting to help us to get this unit,” clinic board president Jo Ann Edwards said.
The 2006 Fleetwood Pace Arrow is 38 feet long. The clinic will renovate its interior. Renovations will include removing the bed and adding an exam table.
In November, Heart and Soul Clinic held an inaugural bingo night. The event raised $15,000 for the RV. The clinic took out a loan for the remaining cost. Donations are being accepted to help pay off the loan.
Also, as a result of the bingo night, a business suite was donated to Heart and Soul Clinic to provide a larger facility.
Patient numbers have nearly doubled at Heart and Soul Clinic since its founding. The current location, 202 Penn St., has an operating space of approximately 1,200 square feet. The new location, 17338 Westfield Park Rd., Suite 1, is nearly double that. The larger space will allow for a third exam room and more office space.
“One thing about the space we are moving to is, it is a professional atmosphere,” said Edwards, noting the current facility is a former house. “This is a home, and it served us very well, but as we move forward, I think that a professional space not only will serve the patients but also attract more professional volunteers.”
The clinic is hosting packing and moving days in March. For more, to donate or to volunteer, visit heartandsoulclinic.org.
More to come
Heart and Soul Clinic was founded in 2009 and added a dental clinic in 2016. In March, the clinic will move to a new, larger location in Westfield. It also will renovate its traveling clinic.
Moreover, the clinic has plans for even more growth next year.
“We want to establish a new program here,” Heart and Soul Clinic Executive Director Danny Carroll said. “We have a free medical clinic and a free dental clinic, so we want to offer a free mental health clinic. That (new) space will provide us the opportunity to do group activities individual one-on-one therapies.”