HOPE Healthcare Services (Hope), a 501©3 not-for-profit medical and dental clinic based in Avon, Indiana for underserved individuals, received a $12,500 grant from Urology of Indiana. The grant is being used for general operating support and mental health services necessary to care for patients at the clinic.
The grant was awarded by the Central Indiana Community Foundation via a blind donor matching process. Urology of Indiana is the largest urology private practice in Indiana with over 50 providers. It operates 15 locations across Indianapolis and central Indiana to provide patients with cost-effective, comprehensive urologic, urogynecologic and cancer care.
“HOPE began seeing patients in June 2005 in a rented, 1,250 square-foot building. All of the medical and dental professionals were volunteers at that time. The criterion to be a patient was (and still is) that the individual has no health insurance – including V.A., Medicare, Medicaid, and neither private medical nor dental insurance. We now operate from a 4,000 square-foot building that was purchased in 2008 and renovated into a healthcare clinic from a laundromat and tanning business. Over the past few years, grants from Urology of Indiana have really helped us grow,” says HOPE Executive Director, John Mollaun.
The clinic continues to grow to meet the increasing demand for healthcare services, seeks to find those falling through the cracks in the healthcare system and provides access to quality, compassionate and low-cost care. The services at HOPE are not free, but very low-cost. No visit fee is more than $30, and HOPE works with area vendors to provide very low-cost lab testing, imaging, sleep studies and prescription medication. Prayer and spiritual support are also offered at the clinic. In 2020, HOPE’s medical visits increased 11% over 2019; dental visits increased 4%, and mental health visits saw a 44% increase. HOPE currently provides services for 150-200 patients each month.
“HOPE is providing valuable services to those who do not have health insurance. It has been fulfilling and exciting to watch them grow over the past few years. We are proud to support their very important efforts,” says Britt McDermott, Urology of Indiana’s Chief Executive Officer.
COVID-19 added an additional layer of complication and expense to HOPE’s efforts. They added telehealth services as an option for service, changed some protocols and purchased substantial supplies to reduce risks. Masks, gowns, gloves, new cleaning solutions, portable blood pressure machines for car-side visits in the parking lot and air filtration units continue to be utilized.
“The pandemic resulted in many of our key administrative volunteers leaving. These were retirees in the most vulnerable age groups for COVID health risks. Though understandable, these were key people who took ownership of their role in the clinic ministry. We took action and increased the paid administrative staff and began to utilize students in these roles. Donors, like Urology of Indiana, helped us fill that gap with the money for the increased (and unexpected) wages for the new staff,” Mollaun continues.
HOPE’s Clinic Sees Continued Growth From Charitable Contributions
In 2019, HOPE was able to hire its first paid staff nurse practitioner and physician’s assistant, each of whom provide one full day of patient care each week. In addition to primary care, volunteers provide specialty services including pediatrics, urology, gynecology, nephrology, physical therapy, neurology, dermatology and chiropractic medicine.
In 2020, the clinic added a staff dentist one day per week to augment the work of the volunteer dental professionals. Dental services include fillings, extractions, cleanings, crowns, denture work, endodontics and oral surgery. The dental operation was upgraded from analog to digital technology for imaging, including digital bitewing sensors, a digital panoramic imaging machine. Electronic dental software was also purchased.
“Mental health services were also expanded in 2020 with two counseling agencies partnering with us to provide low-cost services, which we help to subsidize,” Mollaun concludes.