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Clinic receives big donation
5FN1 Pic for clinic donation

The Good Shepherd Clinic of Dawson County has received the largest single donation in the organizations history a total of $10,000.

Amicalola Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), a not-for-profit electrical cooperative in Jasper, donated $5,000 with a matching $5,000 coming from CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America, according to an Amicalola EMC press release.

We are exceedingly grateful for Amicalola EMCs donation, said Doug Powell, treasurer of the Good Shepherd Clinic. Without donations and contributions, our clinic could not stay open and serve the needs of the poor and uninsured in Dawson County.

The Good Shepherd Clinic is the countys only free health clinic. Funds will be used primarily for covering operating expenses, which include prescription medications and lab work for patients, and also for a digital x-ray machine, if one is not donated.

The main thing we still need is a digital x-ray machine and volunteers, said Powell.

Patient volume at the clinic has increased 30 to 40 percent since January, with the largest influx coming since the clinic relocated to 220 Dawson Commons Circle, Powell said.

Our goal is to increase our hours, and we need administrative help with answering phones, greeting patients, and filing, he said.

The clinic soon will add dental services and eye exams. Two dental chairs are being installed, and the group has partnered with Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation for eye care, through the Dawsonville Lions Club.

We expect the dental services to be up and operating sometime in November, Powell said. Eye care will be provided through a partnership with the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation.

Jim Adams, executive director for Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, said his organizations goals are to reach citizens with leading-edge eye care. He noted that the two leading causes of blindness are glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy both of which are preventable if found and treated early.

The foundations relationship with the Good Shepherd Clinic marks its 29th clinic in the state.

We will serve Dawsonville residents via a mobile eye van, Adams added. If the demand is there, well be in Dawsonville twice per month.

All services are free to people who live, work, or attend school in Dawson County and have no medical insurance, Medicare or veterans benefits. Residents need to be 200 percent below federal poverty guidelines the same criteria used for Ric Rack in Dawson County. Patients can pre-qualify for assistance on Thursdays from noon until 4 p.m.

To volunteer or donate to the clinic, please call 706-429-9914.