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The Good Shepherd Clinic recently received its 501(c)(3) status which allows for a federal tax exemption for nonprofit organizations. It took more than two years for the clinic to be awarded its 501(c)(3) status.

We opened in September of 09 and shortly afterwards starting filling out the paperwork for non-profit status, said Doug Powell, treasurer for the clinic. We feel weve finally turned the corner as a clinic. We can now receive additional financial support and be able to serve a larger population, he added. Donations to the clinic are now tax deductible.

The clinic, located in the basement of Grace Presbyterian Church, has two doctors and 25-30 volunteers. The vision for the clinic came from pastor Mark Weaver, who passed away in May 2009.

I think he would be very proud of what we have been able to accomplish, said Powell.

The clinic is staffed by Drs. Larry Anderson and David Moore who take turns seeing patients on Thursdays.

It seems like a good thing to do for the community, said Dr. Larry Anderson. There are a lot of good, hard working people in Dawson County who for whatever reason simply cannot afford health insurance.

He is not alone in his desire to serve the community. Dr. David Moore, who practices at the Neighborhood Healthcare Center in Cumming was looking for a way to give back to his community.

My desire really came from some of the sermons Id been hearing in church, said Moore. I live in Forsyth County and there are no free clinics, so I started looking around and found the Good Shepherd clinic in Dawsonville.

In addition to providing medical care, the clinic in partnership with Grace Presbyterian Church, gives out Grace in a Box which is a free, healthy meal. Clinic volunteer, Joe Fortune, came up with the idea.

On an average Thursday, the clinic provides care for 12-20 patients.

In order to grow, the clinic is currently looking for additional donations, medical volunteers including nurses, physicians, administrative support and lab technicians. They are also in need of a larger space ranging from 1,800 to 2,500 square feet, according to Dr. Anderson.

The clinic serves non-emergency medical needs of adults 18-years and older who live, work or go to school in Dawson County, have no health insurance and no access to Medicare, Medicaid, or VA benefits.

Hours of operation are Thursdays, 4-6 p.m. To determine eligibility for receiving free care, visit the clinic on Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. The clinic is located in the basement of Grace Presbyterian Church at 170 Hwy 9, Dawsonville.

Call 706-429-9914 or visit goodshepherddawsonco.org for more information.

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