The Board of Trustees with the Good Shepherd Community Clinic, Inc. has announced that they will shift from an exclusive focus on access to care to a blended approach that emphasizes quality of care and overall health improvement.

With as many as 75 percent of the clinic's patients having diabetes, the clinic will adopt disease management principles and devote a considerable part of its medical care delivery to serving those with diabetes. Measures of success will include not only numbers of patients seen and visits provided, but improvements in patients' overall health status.

Although the clinic is refocusing efforts to provide better services to meet the growing needs of its patients, it will continue to provide free medical, dental and vision services to the indigent, working poor and those who lack health care access. And, through the use of new and improved technologies patients will benefit from better service delivery as well as improved patient outcome documentation.

Dental services will be expanded and made more efficient through major upgrades in both x-ray and computerization of records and the addition of more dentists.

Both employed and volunteer nursing staff will assume a prominent role in future care planning and delivery. In following the newly adopted strategic plan, the clinic has added two full-time registered nurses Debra Hart RN, BSN, MBA/HCM, as Medical Clinic Manager and Melissa Hallum, RN, BSN as Patient Care Manager.

"The additions to our staff plus our change in focus allow us more opportunity to treat the whole patient instead of just treating for minor illnesses. By investing in their overall health care, we can be the catalyst to a positive chain reaction in their lives. Learning to live a healthier lifestyle impacts more than just the patient's health: it increases their ability to better provide for their family, it teaches their family to make healthy lifestyle choices, and gives the patients a sense of empowerment and self-worth. All of which, decrease overall healthcare costs to the community and helps to keep emergencies only in the ER," Vanesa Ramsey, Clinic Executive Director.

To ask questions about helping the clinic through volunteer opportunities or tax deductible financial gifts, contact the Good Shepherd Community Clinic, Inc. at (580) 223-3411 or visit the website at