GRAYSON CO., TX - While debates continue in Washington on the Health Care Reform bill, the number of people without health insurance is growing in Texoma. Last year there were an estimated 30,000 uninsured in Grayson County alone. And because it doesn't look like that figure is getting any smaller, many hope something is done soon.
"Pray to God I didn't get sick, my children have never really been to the doctors, they're grown up now, because without health insurance nobody wants to see you,” said Dorothy Atwood.
Atwood knows what it's like not being able to bring her kids or herself to the doctor; she is one of the many Texomans without health insurance.
"And to see some of those kids get turned away for no insurance... that's bad... but if it all turns out better we'll have it made,” said Atwood.
But now she's found medical care that doesn't require insurance at the Greater Texoma Health Clinic.
"But the clinic is here to help the people that need it, and they don't turn you away,” she said while waiting to be seen by a doctor at the clinic.
Clinic Director Linda Bryant says since 2006, their number of patient visits per years has tripled.
"We're just seeing more people that are affected by the economy, and sometimes we have a husband and wife that are both unemployed and maybe previously had insurance at their job and now they don't, so we're able to help those people,” said Bryant.
She says the need for healthcare is great in Grayson County, and it's not just those below the national poverty level that are struggling.
"It's just not the people that have lost their insurance, but it's also self employed people that can't afford insurance, so they could be people low on the poverty or high on the poverty level,” said the Chief Financial Officer Cindy Unerfusser.
The clinic said even they are experiencing that exact problem and understand the frustrations.
"We're searching for insurance ourselves and it's unrealistic to think that we can afford to pay $4,000 a month for six employees,” explained Bryant.
So while lawmakers argue over differences on the Health Care Bill, the clinic is working harder than ever to provide healthcare to Grayson County residents, regardless of their ability to pay.
"We just keep doing what we're doing, what we do every day and that's just trying to help the people in our neighborhood and our community that need help,” said Bryant.
The Greater Texoma Health Clinic is mostly run by volunteers, and is funded by primarily by community donations and grants. If you'd like to help the clinic, they accept monetary or in-kind donations.
Greater Texoma Health Clinic Wish List:
409 12 bottles
Lawn Trash bags 48 boxes
3 hole puncher 1
alcohol prep pads 100
band aides 30 boxes
Bathroom Sink Cabinets 2
Batteries AA 60 packs
Batteries AAA 40 packs
Blue color folders 1/3 cut tab letter size 10 boxes of 100
Bottled Water 24 cases
Brother- Hyield Black 2 Pack 24
Calendars for 2010 10
C-Fold Hand Towels 24 cases
Christmas Tree with ornaments 1
Coffee 50 cans
Coffee Creamer 15 cans
Coffee Filters 15 packs
Color Pocket Folders 4 boxes
Company to wash windows in and out 2 times/ year
Copy Paper 500 reams
cotton OBGYN large swabs 10 boxes
Cotton Tip Swabs small 10 boxes
cyto spray 5 bottles
Detail cleaning 2 times/month
Dish Detergent 12 bottles
Envelopes legal size 10 boxes
Envelopes with windows 10 boxes
exam table paper 50 rolls
hand soap in dispenser bottle 24 bottles
hemmocult cards 100
HP 95/98 Black cartridges 24
HP 95/98 color pack ink cartridges 12
HP Lj Q5949A Ink Cartridges 12
Kitchen pantry cabinets 3
Kitchen sink cabinets 1
Light Bulbs 60 watt 35 boxes
Lobby Chairs 30
lysol 48 cans
metricide 24 bottles
Money rent/receipt books 10
New office desks 7
Office Chairs 7
Office Clocks 6
Paint -outside for building
Panti-liners 14 packs
Paper Towels 200 rolls
Pens 10 packs
Phone message book 2
Pine Sole 12 bottles
Postage Stamps .17 cents 400
Postage Stamps .44 cents 1200
Powered-free exam gloves-large 10 boxes
Powered-free exam gloves-med 10 boxes
purell hand santizer 120 ml refill 12
purple nitrile gloves med 10 boxes
Push Pins 4 boxes
sani-clooth germidal disposable cloths 48 bottles
Scotch tape 12
seracult slides singles box of 100 5
Sheet Protectors 3 boxes
Shredder lubricant 2 bottles
sign here tags 12 packs
Smooth out grade of employee parking lot
speculums large 100
speculums med 500
speculums small 100
Tall Kitchen Trash bags 48 boxes
thin prep pads 100
Tissues 120 boxes
Toilet bowl brush 2
Toilet Bowl Cleaner 12 bottles
Toilet Paper-large roles 200
Welding of outside gate
White Binders 1 inch with plastic 8
White Binders 1/2 inch with plastic 8
White Binders 2 inch with plastic 30
White Binders 3 inch with plastic 10
Windex 12 bottles