Church opens its new free clinic

Church opens its new free clinic
September 24
00:00 2015

By Timothy Ramsey

For The Chronicle

The New Light Missionary Baptist Church at 1535 E. 15th St. in Winston-Salem opened its Grace Free Clinic for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 19.

The clinic will provide certain health services for free and care is provided by licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists and social workers.

The clinic will provide health management for chronic and acute conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol, to name a few.

The clinic will be open every third Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

It is the brain child of Sam Hickerson, pastor of New Light Missionary Baptist Church and an employee for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and Gary Gunderson, vice president of Faith Health at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Hickerson has long had this idea of bringing a clinic to the neighborhood because the local free clinic is overwhelmed.

Those eligible to receive help are persons over the age of 18 who do not have health insurance and live in the designated ZIP code of 27105 and neighboring communities. Those who wish to receive aid need to bring proof of address, photo ID, and a list of current medications and dosage. Transportation is also provided to those who are not able to commute. They also provide transportation to food pantries as well. One of the main goals of the clinic is to alleviate some traffic from the emergency room for non- major health issues and to catch minor health problems before they become major issues.

The clinic is staffed by FaithHealth workers from all across the state as well as volunteers from New Light Missionary.

FaithHealthNC is a new initiative to improve health by forging covenants between faith communities and health care providers.

Wake Forest Baptist’s vice president of Faith and Health Ministries, Gary Gunderson, who came from Memphis, Tennessee, three years ago, said he wanted to come here and “bridge the gap of the African-American community and the Baptist Hospital.”

Jeff Williamson, a internal medicine doctor at Wake Forest Baptist, said he spent a couple of weeks in Honduras last month giving aid to those in need and thought, ‘“I need to do this in my own backyard and help the people of my own community’ and I hope we can do more of this.”

One of the first individuals to show up to receive help was Rex Jenkins, who came to the clinic to receive anti-biotics or pain pills for a tooth he had pulled last week. He works part time and does not have insurance and said, “This clinic is a big help because medication is not easy to come by and it helps a lot”.

Beverly Graham, owner of the Medicap Pharmacy, partnered with the clinic to provide low cost prescriptions for as low as $4 to help individuals get the medications they need. The pharmacy will be open every day that the clinic is open. Along with the medications, Graham also helped supply the clinic with low-cost supplies as well. The pharmacy is at 1345 N. Liberty St. in Winston Salem.

For more information, call New Light Missionary Baptist Church at 336-671-3865.

For more information on FaithHealthNC, go to

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