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every Monday, from 6:30pm until the last patient leaves the building, and open to anybody who walks through the door, no questions asked. However, staffing the clinic is now becoming nearly impossible. Pastor Kauffman says that when the clinic first started Dr. Doug Morgart, was dedicated to the clinic every week and made it his mission to serve in that capacity. He attended the clinic faithfully and made sure that the clinic was always open and covered. Dr. Morgart retired several years ago and moved out of state and St. Paul’s has had little luck finding a doctor with a similar dedication to the community. Currently there are doctors that come from as far away as Blakeslee to help.
Perhaps the most disturbing part is that the church has tried to reach out to doctors who live right here in Mountaintop, but with very little success. At the moment, Dr. Anthony Aqualina is the only local doctor who is on staff. Kauffman adds that it isn’t always medical treatment that people are seeking, but advice as well. She says that the church is looking to add social workers to the staff to help their clientele compare plans or find coverage that is within their means, as well as locate and connect with the services that are available to them.
“We have tried numerous times to reach out to churches, clubs, and through our bulletin…to be able to continue with the work we have tried to serve the community” wrote JoAnn Schaeffer, Press Secretary for St. Paul’s “We do not want to see it close, because it would be devastating to many families who have no where to go with their children in the time of need.”
At this point, Kauffman says the church is reaching out to physician assistants and nurses, as well as those involved with the Wilkes Pharmacy and Nursing schools. All volunteers must have a license to practice their respective craft and Kauffmann stresses that nobody will be asked or expected to treat a patient beyond their scope of expertise. In the event that a patient does come in with a problem beyond what the staff is able to do, Kauffmann says that the clinic will do their best to deal with the situation, but will also act appropriately to get additional care for those who need it.
“It breaks our hearts on a Monday night when we have to turn the families away, due to no doctor, or nurse on duty for the two hours the clinic is open. Overall, the lack of support from area doctors it is a very tragic situation for those who rely on the clinic,” says Schaeffer.
If anyone is interested or knows someone who is interested in getting involved, they can contact the church office at 474-6616 or contact Schaeffer by email