Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Happening Now

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic Opens Crossville Center

St. Mary’s Legacy clinic opened its new Crossville Free Healthcare on Wheels program Tuesday.

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic Executive Director Martin Vargas said over half of the clinic’s patients come from Crossville. He said uninsured residents in need of care poured in alongside members of the Crossville community who stopped by to voice their support for the program.

“The best thing about it, it’s like a trifecta,” Vargas said. “You’ve got St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic providing healthcare for those in need, they have a food panty, the Sacks Food Pantry, meets their physical needs, and then there’s a church there too that meets their spiritual needs.”

Vargas said the mobile clinic can handle anything a primary care physician normally covers, from stitches to mammograms. He said many in Crossville’s high senior population are eligible for Medicaid, but many do not understand how to access the system and get signed up. He said the goal is to graduate uninsured patients to long-term medical insurance.

“We do have a health coach, and she can do a wonderful job to bridge that gap,” Vargas said. “So you can start with us in a gap care fashion while you’re uninsured, and then we can help you become insured.”

He said last year, the clinic graduated 15 percent of its uninsured patient base. He said a mobile job center was also present to help build resumes and connect people with employment options. He said there is a hefty need for healthcare in the uninsured population across many economic spectrums in Crossville and Cumberland County, and the move has been a success.

“St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic is always growing,” Vargas said. “We add one to two locations every year. We service East Tennessee. We love Cumberland County and we’re always interested in expanding our services.”

He said he spoke with a patient Tuesday who said she has been using the service since it began in 2013. He said she had lost her husband and was left uninsured with five children. Through St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, Vargas said the woman was connected with partners who got her a needed hip replacement, diagnosed her with cancer, and treated it.

“Can you imagine the pain you’d be in not being able to walk from your hip, and then getting that repaired and what that does for you?” Vargas said. “And then finding that you have cancer and knowing that there’s someone there to walk with you along the way as you heal and go through life. That’s the outcome.”

Share