There are 61,000 people without health care insurance in northern
Clark County, Washington. This staggering statistic inspired the creation of
Battle Ground Health Care, a free chronic care clinic that opened in May 2011
as an outreach of the local Meadow Glade Church.
The clinic was presented a grant of $184,561 from Dave Horn, Washington
State deputy attorney general, in December 2013. When asked about the future of
this outreach as the Affordable Care Act is rolled out, Horn stated, "I
don’t think this clinic is going to run out of work any time soon.”
Kristen Turek, senior philanthropic advisor for the Community Foundation in
Vancouver, Washington, also presented a check for $5,000 from the Jane Onsdorff
Malmquist Charitable Fund. These funds were designated to help provide dental
services to the community through the clinic, which relies on donations and
Battle Ground Health Care Clinic recently added limited dental care such as
cleaning, extractions and fillings to its services. Staff believe that dental
care is a major component in overall health, especially when 72 percent of
those living in north Clark County have not seen a dentist in the past year.
Vancouver Clinic donated a large amount of furniture. Adventist Medical
Center in Portland, Oregon, donated computers and a telephone system, while
also providing free technical support to keep these items running. Legacy
Health System has offered to supply free laboratory and X-ray services, and
Clark College donated a significant amount of dental equipment. Hays Cabinets
in Woodland, Washington, supplied the cabinets, and Patterson Dental provided
These gifts are all part of the divine blessings that have helped this
volunteer-run organization reach out to its community. “Everything was given to
Battle Ground Health Care by God,” says Ruthie Gohl, executive director. “All
these people working together are what makes this clinic work and run."
In order to receive services at Battle Ground Health Care, patients must
meet certain requirements. They must be between the ages of 18 and 65, live in
northern Clark County, and be at 200 percent or less of poverty level. The
clinic treats patients with chronic illness such as high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, and diabetes with a volunteer staff of about 80.
The recent grants make it possible for Battle Ground Health Care clinic to
expand its work with patients in making lifestyle changes. Using occupational
and physical therapy, the clinic wants to encourage patients to become more
active through education, exercise, and diet changes. Anxiety and depression
sometimes afflict chronic illness patients; now Battle Ground Health Care
clinic can address these issues even better.