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Good News Clinics gets another big donation
Medical assistant Angela Guerrero restocks a patient room with supplies Tuesday at the Good News Clinics in Gainesville. The Good News Clinics learned they will receive a $95,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Good News Clinics must have eaten its collard greens, because 2009 has been quite a successful fundraising year.

First, the Gainesville clinics raised $95,000 in 95 days following a $95,000 donation from an anonymous donor who asked that the community match the donation. And Tuesday, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia provided another grant of $95,000 to Good News, which provides free dental and health care to Hall County residents who do not have insurance and cannot afford it.

“We’re just really excited about the opportunity to partner with Kaiser so we can serve the community,” said Good News Clinics Executive Director Cheryl Christian.

The grant will allow the clinic to continue to pay the salary of one of its nurse practitioners and purchase needed medical supplies, and could not have come at a better time, said Christian.

This year, as jobless rates have soared in Hall County, so have the client rosters at Good News Clinics, Christian said. This year alone, the clinics have served more than 18,000 people who have come seeking free medical and dental care.

The clinics have seen medical patient visits increase by 14 percent and the number of new patients increase by 20 percent this year, Christian said.

“We’re for the people who have no other resources, don’t have insurance, don’t have the income to really go out and purchase health care, so they have no options,” Christian said.

With the number of patients, the costs for the clinics have risen, Christian said, and though the Good News Clinics fundraising campaigns have been successful, there were still bills to be paid.

Funding from one grant, which paid the salary of one of the clinic’s nurse practitioners, was about to expire, Christian said.

The $95,000 donation from Kaiser is part of a total of $1.2 million in grants to 24 safety net clinics in metro Atlanta, according to a news release from Kaiser.

Kaiser Permanente is Georgia’s largest nonprofit health plan that serves more than 260,000 people in a 28-county service area in metro Atlanta.

“The community’s really stepped up to help us, but we still needed more help and that’s where the Kaiser foundation came in,” Christian said.

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