History of Clinic
The Community Clinic of Joplin began in 1993 as a one night per week clinic that was held in the Sunday School classrooms at First Presbyterian Church. Dr. Charles Bentlage and Dr. Michael Nagle worked with emergency room physicians and nurses from Freeman Hospital and St. John’s Medical Center (now Mercy Hospital) to provide acute care for residents without access to health care. The Clinic would open at 3:00 pm every Thursday and stay open until the last patient was seen, typically six or seven hours a night.
In the year 2000, Mr. Joe Berger and family donated the property at 701 S. Joplin Avenue. Members of the community came together and donated the goods and services necessary to renovate and stock the building, establishing it as the medical clinic that it is today.
The Clinic continued to operate one evening per week for several years. By the year 2006, the Clinic was providing care by appointment when volunteer physicians were available. Today, the Clinic operates five days a week, providing a wide variety of medical and dental services to its patients. With the employment of a full time Nurse Practitioner in 2010, the Clinic can now see walk-in patients all day long as well as those with an appointment.
The Community Clinic continues to expand and improve its services and care. Short term counseling services have been added to treat tornado survivors that are dealing with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. A partnership with Heart to Heart International led to the establishment of an in-house laboratory that will greatly benefit the Clinic’s patients. In addition, the Community Clinic is constantly working at building new relationships with both hospitals and new physicians and dentists coming to the area.
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