09/18/2018

Good Samaritan Clinic is a free clinic for those without insurance

Bilingual staff makes for a comforting environment for Latino patients

¿Sin seguro de salud? En la Clínica Good Samaritan eso es exactamente lo que necesitas para obtener la atención médica que mereces.

Translation: No health insurance? At the Good Samaritan Clinic that’s exactly what you need to get the healthcare you deserve.

Good Samaritan Clinic Nurse Practitoners
Nancy Littlejohn (left) and Nidsa Baker, both board-certified nurse practitioners at Good Samaritan Clinic.

The Good Samaritan Clinic is one of two free clinics St. Joseph’s/Candler offers the community. St. Mary’s Health Center is the other.

Located in Garden City, about 75 percent of Good Samaritan Clinic patients are Latino, says Becky Nowicki, RN, clinical team leader at the Good Samaritan Clinic. All patients of this free clinic have no insurance.

“The Good Samaritan Clinic is a service that these patients otherwise wouldn’t have,” Nowicki says. “The goal is to offer them a primary care home to keep them from going to the emergency room every time they have anything come up.”

An added bonus, particularly for the Latino population, is that many co-workers of the Good Samaritan Clinic are bilingual, including two medical assistants, a medical interpreter, the front desk receptionist and a twice-a-week volunteer.

Additionally, there are two full-time nurse practitioners staffed at the clinic and volunteer physicians – specializing in primary care to orthopedics to optometry – who make patient visits.

“Since our staff is bilingual, it makes it very easy and very comforting for the patients because there is no barrier so they understand their conditions,” says Nidsa Baker, board-certified adult nurse practitioner at Good Samaritan Clinic. “Our staff is from everywhere in this world. We understand what our patients eat, how they live and their cultural and that’s very helpful to provide patient-centered care.”

The Good Samaritan Clinic opened in 2007 to serve the growing number of people without health insurance. St. Joseph’s/Candler partnered with the Georgia Department of Community Health and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church to open the clinic in west Chatham County. A $100,000 grant by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation allowed the clinic to expand operating hours as well as specialty care.

Some of the services offered at the Good Samaritan Clinic include:

  • Primary care for adults 18 and older
  • Annual check-ups
  • Mammograms (once a month via the Mammography bus)
  • An eye clinic (every other month)
  • Affordable glasses ($30 a pair)
  • An orthopedic clinic (every other month)
  • Women’s health services
  • Lab work
  • English as a Second Language class (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays; open to anybody)

If a patient needs diagnostic testing, such as an X-ray or ultrasound, he or she will be referred to St. Joseph’s Hospital or Candler Hospital, which will assist them financially. Also, if a patient of the Good Samaritan Clinic gets insurance, the staff will help find that patient a new medical home.

To be eligible for the Good Samaritan Clinic services, your family income must be less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. You must also be over the age of 18, have no health insurance, and have a photo ID and proof of income.

Patients are required to fill out an intake form and return it to the Good Samaritan Clinic before an appointment can be made.

“The patients are awesome,” Nowicki says. “This is a population that makes you remember why you went to nursing school. They are really grateful.”

The Good Samaritan Clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For more information or to find out if you are eligible for Good Samaritan Clinic services, call 912-964-4326.

La Clínica Good Samaritan está abierta de lunes a jueves de 7:30 a.m. a 5 p.m. y los viernes de 7:30 a.m. a 11:30 a.m. Para más información o para averiguar si es elegible para los servicios de la Clínica Good Samaritan, llame al 912-964-4326.

 

Also in this series:

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000