Yesterday, I posted an article entitled “Resources for People Who Are Homeless or Hungry in Lexington.” I indicated that I would continue that subject in part two, which focuses on medical and dental care. Fortunately for those requiring medical care, Lexington does have resources. Dental care is harder to find.
Let’s begin with medical. These are some current Lexington medical entities that offer service at reduced rates or free.
*** Bluegrass Community Health Center – This clinic provides health care at no cost for those who have no financial resources. For those who have some income, the charge is calculated on a sliding scale basis. There are two locations – 1306 Versailles Road, Suite 120 and 151 North Eagle Creek Drive, Suite 220. The phone number for both locations is 859-254-7874. Case management is also provided to obtain medication at no cost directly from drug manufacturers. I have a close friend who is currently on the Board of this clinic. The Board welcomes input from consumers, so you can easily reach me at my e-mail site – [email protected] or simply click on to the ‘add comment’ bar at the top of the page.
*** The Health Department at 650 Newton Pike. Their phone is 859-252-2371. An on-site pharmacy provides medication at minimal or no cost. Those who are homeless can apply for a homeless grant that allows free visits and some free medications. What they won’t cover is narcotics and some psychotropic medications (medications that are used to treat psychiatric problems.)
*** The Salvation Army at 736 West Main Street. Their phone number is 859-252-7706 and 7707. UK Hospital conducts a free clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. for those individuals in the shelter and also for individuals in the public. Patients are taken on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Appointments aren’t scheduled – you must to go the shelter on Tuesday or Thursdays evenings. This clinic doesn’t provide prescriptions for narcotics and have a limited supply of free medication.
*** The Refuge Clinic at the intersection of Corral Street and Midland Avenue. Their phone number is 859-225-0470.
*** All local hospitals provide emergency service or scheduled procedures at reduced rates. You are required to complete a financial application, and most of the forms are simple. I know that St. Joseph Hospital on South Broadway/Harrodsburg Road has the simplest form. It can be completed in minutes.
As well as medical, some people need psychiatric care. Inpatient hospitalization is provided by Good Samaritan Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, and The Ridge. On 7-16-2010, I posted an article entitled “Lack of Psychiatric Units for Those With Mental Illness.” This article gives information on these three providers and what is to be expected when utilized. Please do not view this article as negative. It was actually the article that I wrote spontaneously when I was applying for this Examiner Lexington Health Care position.
Outpatient psychiatric care is provided at these locations:
*** Bluegrass Community Health Center – Please refer to the above information for specifics.
*** Comprehensive Care Center on Newtown Pike – Services are provided on a sliding scale basis with a minimal charge of $12.00. You are first required to see a therapist for 2 to 3 visits before being referred to the psychiatrist. Limited medications are provided based on what drug company stock is available on site.
As stated earlier, dental care is harder to obtain. Listed below are Lexington’s current resources:
*** The Health Department Clinic on Newtown Pike provides some limited dental care i.e. routine cleanings, fillings, and minor extractions. More difficult and costly procedures are referred to the UK College of Dentistry.
*** UK College of Dentistry at 300 Rose Street – Their phone number is 859-323-5993. Services are provided at reducted rates. I think that the cost of an extraction ranges from $80.00 to $120.00. Case management is provided by matching consumers with a dental student who will formulate a plan of care which includes what procedure you need and the cost of receiving these services. I am having extensive dental work done at the present time. This care is being provided by a student name Addison Young. Addison is extremely competent and compassionate. I would easily recommend his services to anyone.
*** The Refuge Clinic at the intersection of Corral Street and Midland Avenue. Their phone is 859-255-0470. Services are provided free of charge and a wide array of procedures are available. The waiting list is quiet lengthy, and it can take several months to get an appointment.
*** Nathaniel Mission at 615 DeRoode Street. Their phone number is 859-255-0062.
Hopefully, the information provided in this article will assist those in need in obtaining adequate medical, psychiatric, and dental care. I want to move towards the end of this article by presenting some of my personal ideas for improvement.
*** Availability of a few case managers who actually operate on a mobile basis. These medical employees would literally seek those groups (such as the mentally ill or those who ‘slip through the cracks’) in public places, such as Phoenix Park at the downtown Central Library, and offer assistance. I have been told that the Bluegrass Community Health Center in the past has visited the Lighthouse on Elm Tree Lane to provide information on their services.
*** Local dentist offices could volunteer their services a certain number of days each month, such as 1/2 day, 1 day, or every third Wednesday of the month. Most dentists are blessed to have an abundance of financial gain. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share that financial gain with those who have less?
*** During the winter months, local churches band together to provide the Room In The Inn Program. Last fall, I posted an article entitled Room In The Inn – A Spiritual Winter Shelter for Homeless Men in the Lexington Area.” By reading this article, you can review what services are provided. Does Lexington need a similar program for the Lexington female population that don’t quite ‘fit’ other programs?
** A mentor program in which individuals or families could volunteer to provide personal interaction with someone who is homeless or in need of help. Be being supportive and offering encouragement, that person can become vital in assisting someone to regain self-esteem and return to a higher level of functioning.
Even though this last suggestion may appear to be unrealistic, I firmly believe that it could happen. Again, let me present a personal experience. Sometime during November of 2010, I met a gentleman whose affect presented him as ‘down on his luck.’ I spoke with him downtown for perhaps an hour. When he became aware of the fact that I write health articles, he asked for my assistance. He needed a schedule of local AA and NA meetings (Alcohol Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous meetings.) I gave him the phone number of the central AA office and my cellular phone number in case he needed more informatioin.
Two days later, he called me stating that he needed to talk to me in person. The father of my three daughters died when they were 11, 9, and 5 years old, so I remain a single mother and have various family commitments. I explained this to him and stated that I was addressing a big family medical issue at that time. His response was, “You’re the only person I trust.”
After several phone calls, he agreed to present his need over the phone. Because he hadn’t attended multiple meetings, his parole office was having him reincarcerated. His dilemma was that he had worked through a temporary staffing agency, opened a savings account in a local bank, and needed somone to retrieve his paycheck at the temp office and deposit it in the bank while he was in the local jail. Do you, as a reader, understand how desperate he had to be to ask me, a total stranger, to be responsible for his money?
Since his family lived elsewhere, I went to FCDC to visit him onThanksgiving evening because I didn’t want him to have no visitors on this important spiritual holiday. At that time he told me that one of the corrections officers allowed him to make a phone call to arrange the mailing of the check to his FCDC patient account.
At this point, I need to explain that I don’t have a divinity or theological degree. I am simply a Christian and serve a loving and mighty God. When I write abouth spiritual health, my reference is the inspired Word of God – the Bible. I also am a member of Consolidated Baptist Church at 1625 Russell Cave Road. I have the support of my church home family members, and they have been instrumental in supporting me during difficult times. I invite you to attend. Sunday services are at 8:00 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. Prayer meeting and Bible study is at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and 6:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.
If you have an idea that you would like to see become a realilty, please offer some feedback to this article. In order to provide adequte medical and dental coverge to those in need, Lexington’s citizens have to advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves.
Get involved. Voice your ideas. Discuss community issues with local government officials, spiritual leaders, and medical personnel. Remember – one person CAN make a difference, and together we can portray God’s perfect agape love. Although, we can’t reach perfection, we can strive to be close to it. You WILL be blessed!!
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