For more than 15 years, Grace Clinic has provided free access to basic health care for all in Delaware County who would not otherwise have those needs met. During Monday’s meeting of Delaware City Council, Kay Melching presented an update on how the Christian clinic continues to thrive in a county experiencing rapid growth and, subsequently, an increasing need for Grace Clinic’s services.
Located at 40 S. Franklin St., Grace Clinic is the inspiration of twin brothers Kent and Kevin Doherty, both medical doctors and longtime residents of Delaware County. In 2006, along with fellow members of Grace Powell Church, the brothers formed a steering committee to begin developing the necessary resources to begin a free clinic at the Andrews House in Delaware every Wednesday evening.
The clinic has since moved to its permanent location on Franklin Street a decade ago and is open on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as on Tuesdays by appointment only. Additional clinics in Jackson County and the Linden area of Columbus have also been opened, with plans in the works to soon open a clinic in Marion.
The clinic’s mission statement reads, “The mission of Grace Clinics of Ohio is to love God and love people, and to share the good news of Jesus and help patients experience God’s love while delivering free healthcare to the underserved in Central Ohio.”
While Grace Clinic hopes to pair health care services with spiritual growth, Melching said nobody will ever be turned away from their services based on faith. “We are faith-based, but we see all faiths with our patients, and we welcome everyone through our doors,” she told council.
Melching, the administrative nurse coordinator at Grace Clinic, said the clinics have an annual budget of around $330,000 and are able to provide upwards of $3 million in medical care across all clinics. According to the clinic’s year-end report, Grace Clinic Delaware alone saw 1,300 unduplicated patients and provided more than 6,000 medical services in 2021.
“We offer a variety of services, including a chiropractor, women’s health, optometry, which is one of our most popular specialists, dentists, dieticians, physical therapy, social work, and we’re still looking for a pediatrist,” Melching said. “We fill in that gap for those who don’t have insurance or who are at or below that 200% federal poverty rate.”
Melching added that Grace Clinic also exists to “fill in the gap” for those who may have a limited form of insurance, such as partial Medicare coverage, but still have additional needs that are uncovered.
With prescription costs continuing to skyrocket, Grace Clinic Delaware can fill most prescriptions. For those prescriptions that can’t be filled, the clinic participates in a voucher program with Kroger that allows patients to still get their medicine for free while the bill is sent to Grace Clinic.
Grace Clinics of Ohio is funded entirely by local churches, private grants, private donors, and fundraising, and they do not have a billing department. The staff is limited to only a handful of part-time staff members, with more than 130 licensed doctors, nurses, specialists, pharmacists and non-medical volunteers donating their time to push the clinic forward.
To learn more about Grace Clinic Delaware, visit www.graceclinicweb.org or call 740-816-6955.