18:00 PM

Community Impact: Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett

An average of 80 people a day walk into Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett, a primary care practice serving uninsured residents of Hall and Gwinnett counties.

“We are both a medical home for those we serve and, through our relationships with healthcare teaching institutions, a clinical training site for medical students, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical assistants,” said Executive Director Greg Lang.

In 2014, the center provided services to 1,115 diabetics. Every three months, these patients need blood testing to measure glucose markers. “It can be very dangerous if a diabetic does not monitor glucose levels – because without that information, insulin cannot be regulated,” he said.

The test costs $16, which many patients cannot afford.

At its June meeting, the Jackson EMC Foundation awarded $15,000 to the organization for its Open Door Lab. While the funding is available to all patients needing testing, the Jackson EMC grant could pay for 937 glucose tests.

“This grant has created a source for funding for people who cannot afford their blood work,” Lang said.

The funding will be used for diagnostic laboratory and pathology services for patients with chronic diseases. Lab tests vary in cost from $12 to $170 per patient.

“JEMC has been a tremendous supporter of numerous projects over the years,” Lang said about support from the Jackson EMC Foundation since 2006. “We have 26 computers now; for a nonprofit, that is huge. The funding has also helped us provide evening hours so we can see the working poor, who can’t afford to take a day off.”

For more information about Good Samaritan Health Center, see http://goodsamgwinnett.org/.