Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

February 12, 2009

Disciples Clinic speaks to Chamber

The Disciples Clinic Chief Administrative Officer Layton Holt made a pitch to the local business community on Wednesday afternoon.

He spoke at the Athens Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon at the Athens Country Club.

Holt said the goal of the clinic is to provide low-income people with primary healthcare.

The Disciples Clinic will be a primary care center for those 200 percent below the poverty level, according to Holt.

He said many of them go to the emergency room for primary care.

“It is expensive for the patients and the hospital,” Holt said.

He said patients of the clinic will also receive limited dental services, medications, referrals for other social needs and spiritual counseling.

“We expect patients to live in Henderson County and work at least 20 hours per week,” Holt said.

The clinic will accept patients between the ages of 19 and 64 who are not eligible for Medicaid. Holt said the clinic will ask for a contribution between $5-$20, based on the patient’s ability to pay.

“But we are not going to turn anyone away,” he said.

The project was initiated by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary W. Williamson, according to Holt.

He said the project was initially began by First Christian Church but has been expanded to include other churches and community organizations.

“This is a community-wide project now,” Holt said.

He said it is a interdenominational clinic patterned after Bethesda Clinic in Tyler.

“We also have a support group of over 50 people who are working to get the clinic off the ground,” Holt said.

Since May of 2008 the Disciples Clinic has organized an interim board of directors, staff officers, written by-laws, developed public information tools, set up a bank account, received certification as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation from the federal government and acquired a building.

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