The state of the economy has caused many to lose jobs and with that health insurance.
The HOPE Clinic in Cleburne looks to help those facing hard times.
“Since we’ve opened we have seen over 2,700, close to 3,000 people,” said Tony Torres, founder of HOPE Clinic. “People that we never thought would ever need our assistance are coming in because they have just recently been laid off, they’ve lost their employment and with that their health plans.
“We’re seeing the effects of the economy. The medical part is going great, and the dental part is ready to take off. We are operating in the black. We have been blessed, and we just want to serve the community.”
The dental part of the clinic is expected to open within a month, Torres said.
“We’ve got three or four new dentists that have just recently signed up, and there are about 20 fourth-year dentist students from Baylor that are coming to preceptorships. They’re going to be coming in and examining the patients and working under the local dentists.”
The clinic is open four to five days a week. Sometimes there as many as six clinics a week if doctors are doubled up.
“Our support in the community with the physicians and volunteers has been really consistent,” Torres said.
Thanks for the support
The clinic celebrated its second year of operation this month. The second volunteer appreciation banquet will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Family Life Center of Cleburne First Seventh-day Adventist Church, 111 Meadowview Drive.
“We just want to thank the community for all their support,” Torres said. “Not only volunteers but the financial support we’ve been getting. We want to show our appreciation, and we want to thank the community for this effort. It’s a community project.
“We’ve gotten so many donations from [organizations] and individual contributions. We get volunteers, people that are willing to help. We get free lab work, reduced rates for diagnostic X-rays, sonograms and others. It’s the networking of all these organizations that has made it possible.”
CiCi’s Pizza will provide a light meal for the banquet, and a report will be given on the work the clinic has completed in its two years of operation.
“The whole purpose is the thank the people who made this possible,” Torres said. “Without them, this could never happen. The whole point of this is a grassroots concept of people in the community helping other people.”