Good Health Ministries, a free health care clinic located at 214 N. Ralph Street in Claxton, celebrated with a ribbon-cutting event at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 14, 2022.
The over 4000 gray square foot building is shared with the Tattnall-Evans Baptist Association. The Claxton Rotary Club is partnering with Good Health Ministries and MAP International from a Brunswick clinic that is supported by the Brunswick and St. Simons Rotary Clubs.
Paul Coley, president of the Claxton-Evans County Chamber of Commerce, commented prior to the ribbon cutting that the clinic was a fitting place to spread the Word of God. The Rev. Matt Brady, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church, followed with a prayer.
Once inside the newly constructed building, Claxton Mayor Terry Branch extended his thanks to Georgia Baptist Healthcare Foundation and Pastor Freddy Gardner and his wife, Dr. Lynn Gardner.
Bill Lee, CEO of Evans Memorial Hospital (EMH), commented that this clinic was “long in the making” and that EMH was pleased to be a partner, supporter, and collaborator of the clinic.
Irene Burney, Evans County Commissioner, added that the clinic will be an asset to Evans County for those who cannot afford to seek medical care elsewhere. Likewise, she said the presence of the Tattnall-Evans Baptist Association in the clinic will give encouragement to those lives in another area.
Hamsa Thota of the St. Simons Rotary Club was accompanied by Beth Arrow Brown, Director of MAP International. MAP International supplies the medications for the free health clinic, started four years ago by Thota in Brunswick in the Saving Lives with Medicine Program.
“We have seen 70 percent to 90 percent improvements in our patients visiting the clinic in the four areas of emphasis: diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and asthma,” said Thota.
MAP International medicines are shipped all over the world from their 100,000 square foot warehouse in Brunswick. Over 60 Rotarians and other volunteers just last Saturday gathered at MAP International to pack over 2000 disaster relief kits to send to Ukraine.
Wendy West, Director of the Good Health Ministries Clinic, commented, “The support has been tremendous from Tattnall and Evans counties. Dr. Paul Thompson has agreed to serve as our Medical Director, and he and Dr. Jesse Scott and members of their staff will be available on Tuesday mornings, with administrative assistance from Karla Collins on Tuesday afternoon,” said West, with the support of the Strickland Foundation for her position as director.
“We should be able to give help and hope to so many through this wholeness approach,” she added.
Larry Wynn of the Georgia Baptist Healthcare Ministry Foundation, said, “The one who serves the most touches lives spiritually,” adding that the clinic offered ideal opportunities to witness.
The Rev. Freddy Gardner, who is Associational Missionary and Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Healthcare Ministry Foundation, gave extensive thanks to those who had a part in making the Good Health Ministries Clinic a reality: Chuck Jones for donating the land and his many hours of labor; churches of Northside; Pineview; Cobbtown; Collins; Friendship; Rogers; Conners; Bull Creek; Pine Grove; and First Baptist in Glennville for their donations of volunteer labor; Strickland Foundation; Jamie Oates of Jamie Oates Plumbing; Luther Royal of Royal Refrigeration; Alfie Cofield of Cleanway Carpet and Floor Gallery; Eddie Williams of WC Electric; Segal Glisson of Segal’s Welding Services, Inc.; Canoochee Electric Operation Round-up; Mission Georgia; Statesboro Ambassadors; Kevin Odell; Living Hope Freewill Baptist; First Church; Connie and Donald Sisson; Rena West, and New Vision Ministry.
He also gave a special thank you to his wife, Lynn; Wendy West; and Joyce Collins for the laying of the majority of the flooring in the building. Collins also serves as Rev. Gardner’s Ministry Assistant at the Tattnall-Evans Baptist Association side of the clinic.
The Rev. Gardner stated a sonogram machine will be ordered soon so as to open a Crisis Pregnancy Center in the clinic within the next month.
“I received a check for $10,000 this morning to finalize the purchase of this machine,” he said, with two churches giving a total of $25,000 toward the purchase of the sonogram machine.
Doris Tomblin spoke about the family home that had once been on the site, and, actually, the wood paneling in the main room came from the old house that was built in the late 1800s.
A prayer of dedication by Paul Coley closed the comments.
Those in attendance enjoyed refreshments and a tour of the building.