St. Clare Health Mission of Monroe County medical director Michael Sanders M.D. says the number of patients needing care is on the rise.
To help with the increase, the Tomah Health Foundation has donated $1,000 to the local medical mission that provides free health care to needy Monroe County residents.
“Without funds like this, we could not do what we do,” said Saunders. “We’re totally dependent on private donations. We collect no fees from our patients and our staff is completely volunteer other than our clinic coordinator who is very part time.”
Saunders said patient numbers are starting to rise with 10 to 15 patients seen each evening the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Mayo Health System Sparta campus.
“Over the last several weeks we’ve seen an uptick again and a lot of that, I think, has to do with getting the word out that we’re available to people who need our services,” said Saunders. He said that with the advent of “Obamacare”, officials saw a “significant down-tick” of patient volumes, which has now changed.
“St. Clare Mission provides health care for those in the county who fall through the cracks who are not eligible for public assistance and who don’t have insurance, so these monies will primarily go toward medications to treat hypertension, diabetes and other health problems, ” explained Saunders.
It is not the first time the hospital foundation has supported the health mission. Three years ago, the foundation donated $1,000 to the clinic. “They help make a stronger Monroe County and help create awareness for individuals to maintain healthier lifestyles,” foundation president Pete Reichardt said of the recent donation. “They are very well deserving,” he added.
Reichardt said the Foundation is a separate arm of the Tomah Health and raises funds to support health initiatives that benefit Monroe County residents.
He said the foundation holds a number of events throughout the year including its ‘non event’ fundraiser in the spring and annual golf outing each summer.