Friday, August 31, 2012

(91) Description of the French Five Hundred Free Clinic in Gallipolis, Ohio

       This is an expanded version of the French 500 Free Clinic brochure for anyone interested in more detail and greater depth.  For a brief history of the Free Clinic, see the previous blog.

 Remy Simon at the reception desk with volunteers 
Polly Wetherholt and Betty Horan in the background.


258 Pinecrest Road
P.O. Box 44
Gallipolis, Ohio 45631

Mission Statement
The French Five Hundred Free Clinic is committed to providing compassionate, caring, and comprehensive medical care at no cost, to the uninsured patients or populace 18 years old and above of our communities that we serve in Gallia County. We complete our mission with volunteers, who give their time freely to serve the community. Our medical staff includes experienced licensed physicians and nurses.

To provide quality health care services to the uninsured populace of our communities in Gallia County.

Quality Care, Professionalism, Commitment, Excellence, Teamwork.

President: Dr. Mel Simon
Vice President: Paul R. Sebastian Ph.D.
Treasurer: Anthony Gallagher
Secretary: Joanne Elliott R.N.

        Operations. The Free Clinic is open on the last Thursday of each month from 1 pm to 4 pm, excluding holidays and inclement weather that would cause the schools to close.

       The Clinic is staffed by experienced physicians, registered nurses, a chiropractor, a social worker, a counselor, and other volunteers. Our patients are examined and treated by licensed medical practitioners and professionals, including a urologist. Each doctor is assisted by a registered nurse.

    When necessary, our physicians and medical facility refer patients to an appropriate specialist. We assist patients with lab work and prescriptions. However, the Clinic does not dispense pain medications. An experienced counselor and a social worker are also available.

         Being very dependent upon donations and volunteers, we are acutely aware of our responsibility to our donors in addition to our patients. Therefore, we try to be as transparent as reasonably possible in our operations and accounting. We are open to answering any questions you may have and provide our financial statements which are audited by the Accounting Department of the Holzer Medical Center. Currently the Clinic is preparing to becoming a member of the Ohio Association of Free Clinics (OAFC), consisting of 41 free clinics. Their website is The French 500 Free Clinic is a non profit corporation under the laws of the State of Ohio and an IRS 501 (c)(3) Code organization.

       Accomplishments to Date. In our first three years of operation since August 2009, the Clinic has served a total of 986 patients, for an average of 28 patients per session and continues to grow. In January 2012 the number peaked at 49. Many of the total are repeat patients in need of consistent health care.

          In one case, one of our doctors diagnosed a patient with atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) and immediately sent her to the hospital. This action probably saved her life.

Tony Gallagher and Dr. Mel Simon in one of the examination rooms.
         Our facilities include a comfortable waiting room, a reception desk, and seven furnished examination rooms. In the future we hope to obtain with the help of donations basic diagnostic equipment, such as more examination tables, stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, reflex hammers, pen lights, diabetic strips, dip sticks, an othoscope, ophthalmoloscope, etc.

          Other projects on the horizon include securing dental equipment and ultimately a permanent facility. All of these projects will be completed through the generous donations our clinic receives.

Four nurse volunteers of the French 500 Free Clinic from left to right:  
Evangeline Gugacus, Debbie Beegle, Beverly Voss, and Lydia Simon.

Testimonials By Patients That We Have Served
  • After being laid off from my job of 32 years and suddenly being with no income and no health insurance, I was glad to hear about the free clinic. I appreciate all of the people who volunteer their professional services. Now there is hope for people in need of medical help. Once again thank you. (Robin Shaver)
  • The free clinic was a blessing from God when I was sick. The doctors and volunteers gave their services to help the people in need. I thank God for these people of kindness and love, willing to help the sick. Come; they can help! It's the best in town. (Earnest R. Cook)
  • My jobs have not offered insurance and I have a lot of health problems. I try home remedies and just put up with the pain. Overwhelmed with pain, I went to the free clinic and felt welcome. In the waiting room I noticed a certain look on everyone's face pleased that someone cared. Gallia County is blessed to have so many lovely people, who care enough to give their time and money for others. I am thankful. (Charlene Carter)
  • I am a single mother in a job that provides no insurance. My high blood pressure was really upsetting. I didn't know what to do until I heard about the free clinic. I was really shocked by the friendly, kind, and very helpful people who devote their time to help. I am very thankful for these people who helped me to get my medical problem under control. I think that Gallia County could use more of these free clinics for people that don't have any type of insurance. (Deborah McAllister)

Directions to the French 500 Free Clinic
        From Gallipolis, take State Route 160 which runs into Jackson Pike in front of the Holzer Medical Center. Proceed about a mile, passing by Spring Valley. Turn right at the Arbors Nursing Rehab and Hillcrest Clinic signs. Go one block and turn right. Then bear left onto the first driveway up a hill to the parking lot. The Free Clinic occupies part of the Hillcrest Clinic. The next building is the Arbors Nursing Home.

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