March 26, 2009
When a long-time Lexington Clinic family medicine physician wanted to do medical mission work, he found that he didn’t need to go to a foreign country. Michael Eden, M.D. found a wonderful opportunity right in the Lexington area.
Dr. Eden, who practices at Lexington Clinic East, also gives his time to care for patients at Refuge Medical Clinic, a community outreach project of Southland Christian Church. He describes the experience of helping out at Refuge Medical Clinic as, “Very satisfying. People are very appreciative.”
Refuge Medical Clinic currently has locations in both Nicholasville and Lexington and is working on a third Lexington location in the Cardinal Valley area. The Nicholasville Clinic, which opened in June 2008, is located in the Health Department building and operates from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It serves a clientele of patients who are working but who have no insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid. Demand is great.
“This Clinic is so busy that it is common for a doctor to work with three nurses there to meet the patient demand,” Dr. Eden says. The Refuge Clinic is a safety-net service and sees all types of medical problems, from chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension to acute problems such as respiratory illnesses.
The Lexington location of Refuge Medical Clinic is located on Corral Street near the Lexington Herald-Leader in a donated building which has been remodeled as a medical facility. It serves a similar clientele in the inner city. The Corral Street location opened in March and operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Services include simple labs and X-rays, and patients are referred to local programs like Surgery on Sunday or hospital emergency departments for services beyond the scope of what they can receive at Refuge Medical Clinic.
“One of the best things about the Clinic is that patients who do have more serious problems that require ER or surgery have a place to come for follow-up care,” reports Dr. Eden.
“I always thought that I would like to do medical mission work some day,” says Dr. Eden. “When I had more time and knew this project was starting at Southland, it offered a wonderful opportunity right in our own back yard. You don’t have to go to a foreign country to do medical mission work. We are incredibly fortunate at Lexington Clinic to have so many tools and resources at our disposal to serve our patients. Working at the Refuge Medical Clinic helps me keep things in perspective and makes me realize that our conditions are a dream world in comparison.” Medical specialist volunteers are in great demand at Refuge Medical Clinic, Dr. Eden says. Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and receptionists are also needed. Donations for supplies, lab tests and medications would also be helpful. “We try to provide sample drugs or the $4 generic prescriptions where possible,” he said.
For more information about supporting Refuge Medical Clinic, visit their Web site at refugeministriesky.org or email Rachel Coburn at email@example.com, with specific questions. Volunteers are welcome and are not limited to members of Southland Christian Church.