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Good News Clinics honors Westfall for volunteer work
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Isabel Franco has her leg examined by Dr. David Westfall on Tuesday at the Good News Clinics in Gainesville. Westfall is this year’s recipient of the Dr. Sam Poole Volunteer of the Year Award. - photo by SARA GUEVARA
More than 15 years ago, Good News Clinics grew out of the need local doctors were seeing in their own practices.

Dr. David Westfall, current District 2 Public Health director, saw many patients at his private practice who didn’t have insurance and wanted to do something about it.

In the early 1990s, Westfall joined several others to discuss how to provide health care to those who couldn’t afford it. By 1992, those discussions turned into Good News Clinics, a nonprofit health center which provides medical and dental care to hundreds of uninsured patients annually.

The mission of the Good News Clinics is to offer support and free medical and dental care to the indigent, homeless and low-income people in Hall County who have no health insurance and cannot afford medical care.

“He’s been a tremendous visionary as far as getting Good News started,” Good News Executive Director Cheryl Christian said.

Westfall, who also is the former medical director at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, continues to volunteer monthly at the clinic and also serves on the Good News advisory board, Christian said.

“I think that says a lot about him as an individual,” Christian said, explaining that he always makes time to volunteer at Good News Clinics each month.

Westfall’s dedication and service to the clinic was rewarded Tuesday night at the Good News Clinics’ Annual Fundraising Dinner as he was presented the Dr. Sam Poole Volunteer of the Year Award. The award is given in memory of Poole, a local cardiologist who served as the Good News Clinics’ director until his death in 2006.

Westfall worked a volunteer shift at the clinic just hours before the awards dinner.

Tuesday’s dinner was held at the First Baptist Church of Gainesville’s Banquet Hall and featured entertainment by Gainesville native and performing artist Katie Deal Wright, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Nathan and Sandra Deal.

“Over the past several years, the dinner has become an important part of our annual fundraising campaign since the monies raised from the dinner help cover the clinics’ annual operating expenses, which are continuing to increase with the clinics’ increase in demand for services,” said Richard Bennett, DMD, president of the Good News Clinics’ board of directors.
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