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Lackey Free Clinic Helps Others Help Themselves 

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Sentara Health Foundation Grant Helps Clinic Serve Patients

NORFOLK, Va. (Oct 25, 2010) —  When you’re unemployed, uninsured and disabled, even minor health problems can be a crisis. But when you have chronic disease, getting help can seem impossible.

Through a $20,000 Sentara Health Foundation grant, Lackey Free Clinic in York County is able to fund a portion of the salaries for the medical nurse and pharmacist in the Chronic Care Clinic. The holistic program includes education, weight management, dietary counseling, an exercise program at a local community center and medication assistance.

“We realized that there were so many patients with high blood pressure, so we created a special program to help them,” says Clinical Coordinator Jennifer Yates, R.N.
“We’re seeing patients in the community that are sicker because they have been without healthcare longer,” Yates says. “It’s common to see patients with a blood pressure of 220/140, which is very dangerous.”

In addition to the Chronic Care Clinic, the clinic provides life-saving medical care, preventive teaching, dental services, and mental health and counseling services. A multi-disciplinary approach includes medical, pharmaceutical and spiritual support.

“The spiritual dimension of health care is what I oversee,” explains Don Swope, 72, a former church planner who has turned his 20-hour-per-week job into a ministry. “You can address all of patients’ other needs, but if you don’t address the hole in their hearts, you haven’t been holistic.”

The clinic estimates there are 159,000 low-income uninsured adults on the Peninsula and that 80 percent have serious illnesses such as hypertension. “People have been very receptive to a holistic approach,” Swope says. “They react positively to find out we care about them as human beings.”

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