CEO Describes New Opportunities For Edmonson County
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce held their annual spring luncheon today at the Edmonson County Public Library, which was sponsored by St. John's Church, with special guests from A Plus Family Healthcare.
A Plus CEO Patrick Merritt, along Kasey Alford, owner of Alford's Pharmacy and Drive Thru, who also serves as an adviser to the clinic's board, announced today that the clinic is now a non-profit organization and is focusing on bringing better healthcare to Edmonson County.
"I've always wanted to help treat patients," said Alford, who helped start the clinic in 2017. "The potential for what this can bring to our county is unbelievable."
Alford said the road that led to this decision has not been an easy one.
"We've been asked why we'd become a non-profit because the requirements are so much more difficult and scrutinized than privately owned clinics," Alford said. "Well, we believe that it's because this is much bigger than me or anyone else in this room. This is potentially one of the biggest opportunities we've all had in Edmonson County in many years."
Alford discussed how being non-profit would also allow the clinic bigger and better opportunities to not only provide better and more affordable healthcare to all of Edmonson County, but to be able to support local causes and other needs.
"One example would be to possibly be able to put a nurse in each school in our school district," he said.
The clinic is now in the process of being federally designated, the purpose of which, is to enhance the provision of primary care services in underserved communities.
Merritt discussed Edmonson County's needs, specifically.
"Research has shown that there are 1000 people for every one healthcare provider, but not in Edmonson County. That number is more like one provider to 6000 people," he said.
"We've seen that there's about 8% of our population that is uninsured. A Plus wants to remove the barriers that keep people from receiving care. We want our patients to be part of our family. We now have a sliding fee scale that we feel will allow us to treat whoever needs care, no matter who you are or what your situation might be."
The clinic is now run by a board of directors that is made up of local residents. Several were in attendance today and were recognized. They range from local business owners, church leaders, volunteers, and what Alford described as "community-minded" people that care about Edmonson County.
The meal was catered by Bee Spring Restaurant as members of St. John's and other volunteers served the crowd.
The luncheon is one of the several events throughout the year organized by the Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce.