Beacon of Care: Beacon Clinic marks 2 years of providing health care for greater Harrisburg.

 

JANUARY 31, 2017 | by Phyllis Zimmerman

 

To Maggie of Camp Hill, the Beacon Clinic for Health and Hope in Harrisburg is the sort of place that made her feel “in right place as soon as I opened the door.”

 

The primary healthcare clinic, located in the rear of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, offers free services to adults. To qualify, one only needs to be 18 or older with photo ID, said Ruth Stoll, the clinic’s director of development.

 

Maggie, who asked that her last name not be used, said she first heard about Beacon Clinic on the radio. At the time, she thought she might want to volunteer there after finishing nursing studies at HACC.

 

Life, however, took a different course.

 

Maggie has lived in the United States for 13 years, but was forced to return to her native Kenya when her mother fell ill and eventually died. During her travels, she missed two appointments with her doctor in the Harrisburg area. Per office policy, she was dropped as a patient from her doctor’s practice because of the broken appointments. [READ MORE]

 SAVE THE DATE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER  4, 2017

BEST WESTERN PREMIER

800 EAST PARK DRIVE

HARRISBURG, PA. 17111

Substance Abuse Session

A very informative, lively information session for teens about the abuse and misuse of tobacco, alcohol and drugs was held by Steven White, staff of the Dauphin County Department of Drug and Alchol Service. Lots of interaction between the teens and the presenter.  The teens themselves shared some of their own experiences and understanding particularly about the effects of alcohol and tobacco upon one's health and functioning.  It was fascinating to see how the interactive experiences affected those who participated - especially the experience of DUI.  Another session will be held later in the summer.  If you would be interested in participating in the program on drug use and misuse ; call Ruth Stoll, DNSc, RN at Beacon Clinic for Health and Hope, 717-775-1111

 

Kay Huber and Ruth Stoll were interviewed by Nathan and Patricia Gadsden for a showing of Beacon Clinic on their TV program Life Esteem, channel 21 on Christmas morning. Watch the interview above!

Beacon Clinic Newsletter

 

New Year Updates from the Executive Director

“ Never lose sight of the people behind your charts. Each chart represents a person with feelings, a history, a life whom you have the power to touch for one day by your words and actions.”   (Upholding the Vision, p.14)

 

“Coming to Beacon Clinic is one of the highlights of my week. Two beautiful things are happening here: first, from the minute clients walk through the door, they are treated with kindness, respect and dignity. That is no small thing as I often see anxious guarded people come into the clinic, and when they leave they are smiling and visibly more relaxed. Second, these clients are receiving excellent health care, possibly for the first time in their lives. I have seen scary, “‘rush me to the ER’” high blood pressures stabilize to normal numbers over the course of several weeks. The continuity of care is a treasure. The clinic advocates well for the clients to receive necessary tests and consultations in the health care community. “    (Testimonial of Jo Davidson, RN., volunteer)

 

The Beacon Clinic has provided quality, compassionate and free healthcare to persons who are uninsured and underserved in the Greater Harrisburg Community for 20 months. Beacon Clinic is:

  • Open 12 hours each week (two days)
  • Five to twelve clients seen each clinic session.
  • 190 clients on a continuing basis
  • $4,380.41 –cost of medications for 3 months for those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.
  • Multiple referrals for free dental care, vision testing and glasses, specialty medical care and diagnostic testing.
  • The renovation of the Education room completed and ready for classes and support groups.

 

How are we doing this? We continue to do it because of our volunteers and You, our contributors. You are the partners that we could not do without.  Thank you.

 

Now we want to give you an opportunity to share the need of the uninsured and underserved clients coming to the clinic.  We are seeking $500.00 for each week that the clinic will be open in 2017. Add that up and it requires the raising of $26,000.00 for services in 2017. We ask our contributors to be as generous as they can be and provide whatever gift is possible. We pray that you open your hearts at this blessed time of year and find a wonderful treasure for yourself as you give generously to Beacon Clinic for the coming year’s service.

— Ruth Stoll

SAVE THE DATE:

BEACON CLINIC

THIRD ANNUAL DINNER

NOVEMBER 4, 2017

 

Expansion

Education room is now being used for educational sessions. Sessions have been held. Beginning response of patients is beginning. Patients have made requests for more sessions on drug prevention and cancer prevention.  A diabetic support group will begin in the fall."

 

Personnel

Lorraine Bock, DNP , nurse practitioner, has been an additional provider for the last month. She is highly praised for her care of patients just as Kay Huber, CRNP is. We trust that Lorraine will continue to be with us intermittently increasing our capacity to care for patients. She recruited her mother as a receptionist for Thursday mornings.

 

We continue to increase our care of new persons. 340 individuals and over 450 return visits at the clinic. If you haven’t had a chance check out the advertisement of Beacon Clinic on WITF TV/Beacon Clinic. We are receiving very positive feedback.

 

Immediate Need!

[  ] A Social Worker

[  ] Behavioral Health Counselor

[  ] Health Educator

 

Contact Ruth Stoll, DNSc, RN. at ruthbak20@gmail.com

 

Wish List:

[  ] two 8-foot tables for education sessions

[  ] Educational CDs and DVDs – Money to purchase

[  ] Cabinet to house educational materials

 

Telling Our Story in the Community

A breakfast for pastors was held at the clinic on Tuesday, May 2. Eleven pastors attended. Suggestions were made for ways that the clinic might be more effective in it's outreach-a meaningful discussion ensued.  Visitation through the clinic brought appreciation for the care being given. Mention was made of visitation to the congregations of the churches represented.  Beacon Clinic wants congregations to know how they might support the clinic and attend if the services are needed.

 

The Beacon Clinic staff and volunteers continue to meet Sharon England. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017.  They bwill conmtinue their discussion on  goals, assets and gaps in the services provided by Beacon Clinic. It is always a very lively and productive discussion with significant outcomes.  Keep tuned for further information on their findings and actions. It is clear that board, staff and volunteers are committed to providing high quality and comprehensive care to those persons served at Beacon Clinic for Health and Hope.

 

Patient Responses to Care

We are grateful for the testimonials of patients regarding care at Beacon.  One of these successes is a patient recovering from a modified radical mastectomy surgery. On her journey from diagnosis to surgery to wholeness she has expressed gratitude for her transformation of hope.  Because she is unable to work due to surgery and chemotherapy follow-up, she has needed food supplies, transportation to hospital,  contact with social agencies for Social security applications, housing payments, prescription payments, dental care and hypertension monitoring and prayer! Each time I see L. she expresses her amazement and gratitude for the monumental and comprehensive care she has received in and through Beacon Clinic.

 

 

Another testimonial:

“I was not in a very happy place when I came in for my first appointment at the Beacon Clinic.  I was sad, out of work for nearly a year, trying to get my life together after a stroke, without health insurance and in a terribly bad financial state.  ... The wonderful nurses and receptionist got me right in to see Kay, the Nurse Practitioner.  Kay was amazing!  Not only did she help get my blood pressure under control, she made a call to a friend of hers to help me with my work situation.  … One of the most significant things that Kay did for me was … SHE LISTENED. Kay took the TIME I NEEDED so she could get to know me and my situation ... By the time I left the clinic that day, I was happy, feeling like I could make it – like someone actually cared enough about me, that perhaps I was worth it… ”  (A.K.)

Our Amazing Volunteers

“Go back? He thought. No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 

“Health is at least eighty percent nonmedical, involving lifestyle issues, relationships, the person’s environment and economics. Healthcare providers who seek to change the health of their patients NEED the partnership of individuals, churches, and the community.”  (Carolyn Klaus, M.D,, Upholding the Vision) Beacon Clinic is moving quickly into its third year of service.  Patient visits are increasing.  We are growing in the care of patients and the activities offered:

  • Seventy patients were cared for in February, 2017. Fifty of these patients were follow-up visits and 17 new patients. We have seen over 57 persons with hypertension.
  • Expansion of clinic hours from 12 hrs.to 16 hrs. is being considered.
  • A class for persons with diabetes was held in March by a Diabetic Educator from Pinnacle Health System. Request for a diabetic support group has come from a patient. A follow-up session on nutrition for diabetes is scheduled.
  •  Four additional classes highlighting nutrition, hypertension, cancer prevention and prevention of drug and alcohol use/abuse will be offered in April and May.
  • Two new RN volunteers have come on board. They fit in beautifully.
  • Total medication costs for February, 2017 was $1,936.61.  Of that total, $1.181.42 was for medications for chronic illness.
  • Housing along with medical care has been found for one of the patients. Referral to Vision Resources for glasses is in process.

It is evident that much of the care we provide is for patients with chronic illnesses. Chronic illnesses cannot be cured but they can be managed well with medication, lifestyle changes and continual monitoring. Beacon Clinic is providing the comprehensive care and monitoring which we hope can affect the health and well-being of these persons.

We are asking you, our contributors, to partner with us on behalf of your neighbors with chronic illness and no means to obtain essential care.  Your gift of any amount will support:

  • Lifesaving Prescription medications;
  • Additional providers of care to increase the number of people served; and
  • Education/support sessions focused on healthy lifestyle applications.

We appreciate your generosity and the gifts you have shared and will share.  As I said before, “Only thing to do is go forward.”  We trust you will join us in the journey!

 

“Coming to Beacon Clinic is one of the highlights of my week.  Two beautiful things are happening here: first, from the minute clients walk through the door, they are treated with kindness, respect and dignity.  That is no small thing as I often see anxious guarded people come into the clinic, and when they leave they are smiling and visibly more relaxed.  Second, these clients are receiving excellent health care, possibly for the first time in their lives.  I have seen scary, “rush me to the ER” high blood pressures stabilized to normal numbers over the course of several weeks.  The continuity of care is a treasure. The clinic advocates well for the clients to receive necessary tests and consultations in the health care community.” 

-- Jo Davidson, RN. Volunteer

 

“ I came to the clinic to check my stomach after referral from Medical Outreach Clinic. [Most helpful care at the clinic] was helping me getting back on track after a long stress. Medications I received were very helpful in giving me a healthy life I am very grateful, I’m very happy with the care and how the staff treat me. Very good job.”

--H.H.

 

“Came because of back pain.  After losing my job and health benefits…Beacon was hope in time of need. I was able to get my medications free.”

 

 “Thank you for all your help.  I have been blessed with insurance coverage and started going to Hamilton Health Center….I really do appreciate you all so much and the care you have given me, and continue to provide this community. God bless you all.”

-- Note sent to clinic

 

“ I am unable to attend the breakfast.  I’m encouraged with how well things are going with the clinic. Blessings to you all for working so hard to give quality care to people who would not get it otherwise.”

-- Pastor Joel Smith, Daybreak Church, Mechanicsburg

 

Donations have been received from patients in gratitude. – as small as “all the change in my pocket” to a $100.00 check from a mother in gratitude for the care given to her son.

 

Our Volunteers serve in such amazing ways.  Jessica, a first year medical student volunteer, makes calls to those patients who do not show for their appointments.  She seeks to understand why they have not come and if there is some way that we can assist them to keep an appointment at the clinic.  A number follow up with an appointment. This really demonstrates how much we are interested in the potential patients and their concerns.

 

Every little bit counts!  One of our Board Members comes in every other week to clean the clinic!  Nothing is too small a job or too difficult that someone is willing and able to help.

Let me introduce you to another excellent volunteer, Paula Green. Paula is a graduate of Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing. She is retired from full-time nursing in long term care.

 

She was one of three nurses with a vision for the clinic initially and has been volunteering since the clinic opened.  “I am just a small light in bringing hope to others by doing God’s will in compassionate caring. I share my knowledge and love.  I hope patients will receive the hope and peace of God meant for us all through the help given in the clinic.” Thank you Paula for your faithful service!

Located in the REAR of St. Paul's Episcopal Church

248 Seneca Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110

717-775-1111  |  Email: beaconclinicpa@gmail.com

Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am - 2 pm and 3-7 pm