From the Mena Star in Polk County, Arkansas, an announcement about the closing of a free clinic:
It was announced last week that 9th Street Ministries will be concluding their medical clinic mission, which had been ongoing monthly to offer free medical services to those in need since first starting in 1998. The final day for the medical clinic will be Thursday, April 24, and that will conclude the mission that has been in place for almost 16 years.
“Because people are qualifying for insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, our free medical clinic will not be needed anymore,” Stacey Bowser RN, 9th Street Ministries Clinic Director, stated. “We’ve gone from seeing around 300 people a month on a regular basis, but as people were enrolling in Obamacare, the numbers we were seeing have dropped. We were down to 80 people that came through the medical clinic in February, all the way down to three people at the medical clinic in March. Our services won’t be needed anymore, and this will conclude our mission.”
The free medical clinic at 9th Street Ministries was started to reach out to those who could not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, and did not have any other health insurance policy. If anyone has any form of health insurance, they then become ineligible to received the free medical clinic care through 9th Street Ministries.
“Once people are enrolled in Obamacare, we can’t see them anymore,” Bowser said. “This complete dropoff of numbers of people coming to the clinic is a result of all those who have successfully enrolled in an insurance policy now.”
The last day will officially be Thursday, April 24, and it will only be open until noon.
“There was such a need for many years that we would have people coming through the medical clinic from the time the doors opened early in the morning all the way until 4:00 in the afternoon.”
9th Street Ministries had always been open on the last Thursday of each month, and was providing services on a first come first serve basis.