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Free health clinic still hopes to raise needed funds

With just one week left in the year, the Northern Neck Free Health Clinic is struggling to meet its 2009 budget and is appealing to the community for any help it can give.

The clinic remains about $200,000 short of the $1.2 million needed this year to provide medical, dental and pharmaceutical care to those in need.

As usual for this area, many have responded as best they are able to the request for donations, and the clinic and its patients are deeply grateful. “We hope those faithful donors who have supported us over the years will continue to do so, and consider making any year-end donations earlier than usual,” said clinic foundation board president Dexter C. Rumsey III, Esq. “We also hope new donors will join us in our efforts to provide health and hope to those less fortunate than ourselves.”

The economic hard times have resulted in a greater demand for services, as more people have become unemployed, endured a reduction in hours, and lost their health insurance coverage, said clinic board president William B. Graham Jr. At the same time, donations have declined along with the economy, and the clinic has been left to meet the greater demand on reduced funding.

As a reflection of the overall picture, the board of directors recently approved a much-reduced budget for 2010. This lower budget could impact the clinic’s ability to provide services at the current level, but every effort will be expended to try and maintain existing  service levels.

”The clinic is here to bridge the gaps in healthcare, but this year we need to bridge the gap in funding to make it happen,” said executive director Jean Nelson. “We’re blessed to live in a caring community, and the patients themselves contribute about 10 percent of the funds needed. Raising that amount now would go a long way toward getting us through the year.”

All contributions, which result in five to six times their value in services, are most welcome and may be sent to the Northern Neck Free Health Clinic, P.O. Box 1694, Kilmarnock, VA 22482, or through its website at

posted 12.16.2009

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