Lighthouse Medical Clinic in Oklahoma City Helps People and Helps the Church
by: Stafford North | June 10, 2017
Although health care is changing in many ways, the services offered at the Lighthouse Medical Clinic stay much the same. The numbers and the care available are growing but their fundamental intent of not only assisting with medical problems but building relationships with people remains the same. It is an integral part of the work of the Capitol Hill Church of Christ, located at 2801 South Robinson. Through this work people of the community learn about the church and members of the congregation have medical needs met. Pancho Hobbes, minister for the church, is present during most of the clinic sessions so that he build relationships with those who come. Sometimes these contacts result in home Bible studies.
The clinic provides free service to about a hundred people a week mostly from about twenty blocks north and south of their location. It is open at three different time slots during which some come to see a doctor and others to receive medicine from the clinic’s pharmacy. During 2016, the pharmacy dispensed $2.1 million worth of medicine with patient assistance programs. During that same time period, the clinic provided many thousands of dollars of lab work at its own location plus another $150,000 worth of lab work through Mercy Health Center. They also provide two free dental clinics each year treating about forty-five patients each time.
Beverly North, director of the clinic, has about twenty-five volunteer physicians, primarily from the Memorial Road Church of Christ, whom she organizes to be sure there are sufficient physicians available at each of the three times a week when the clinic is open. Dr. Geoff Hoover is medical director for the clinic, Dr. Robert Lamb the dental director, and Dr. Cory Shipman is in charge of the pharmacy. In addition there are also physician’s assistants, nurses, pharmacists, and Spanish translators present for each occasion. The clinic has five exam rooms plus a pharmacy, a lab, and a waiting area.
The main time of service for the clinic is on Tuesday afternoon and evening. People come on Tuesday afternoon starting at 4 p.m. to make appointments since appointments are not made further in advance. From 4 p.m. on, fifteen to twenty will have doctor’s visits while about fifty others will have prescriptions filled with often more than one prescription per patient. Medical service is available for acute cases such as allergies, infection, gall bladder, acid reflux and chronic cases such as diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, cancer, heart problems, and similar situations. While the clinic does provide general medical help and can treat injuries, it is not equipped to treat long-term disabilities. Sometimes the clinic assists with those needing surgery by using its connection with physicians and with Mercy Health Center and the Health Alliance for the Uninsured Referral Network.
On Saturday mornings, the Lighthouse Clinic has a pediatric program with physicians from the University of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Pediatricians providing the care. Dr. Curt Steinhart, former head of this program at OU, is in charge of this service, with Dr. Bill Stafford, Dr. Jeanie Trygastead, Dr. Arjan Shali, Dr. Jennifer Baker, and Dr. Lisa Shoemake assisting at various times. Those in training at OU med school also assist. This program treats primarily acute chronic cases such as problems with ears, heart, skin, and glands as well as recent injuries.
On Sunday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m., the clinic is open during the time of worship services and Bible classes at the Capitol Hill Church of Christ. At these sessions, the treatment is similar to that available on Tuesday afternoon. During that time there is also a wound care clinic available run by Dr. Phil Bryan.
The Lighthouse clinic also serves as a clinical care site for students enrolled in the nursing program at Oklahoma Christian University. These students come for experience under the supervision of one of the nursing professors.
Along with assistance for medical needs, the clinic sometimes also provides food and clothing. To show the importance of reading within families, it even has library for children and adults from which people can check out books.
The Lighthouse Medical Clinic has been operating for thirteen years over which time it has grown in the services it can offer and in the number of patients being treated. Like many such clinics operated among churches of Christ, it provides an excellent way for many in the health field to use their skills and training in a way that blesses many, shows the love of Christ for those in need, and attracts people to the church. For more information about the clinic, write Beverly North at firstname.lastname@example.org.