May 15, 2023

Church-Sponsored Clinic Helps Community Thrive

Meet the largest one-church free medical clinic in the North American Division.

Kaleb Eisele, Oregon Conference
Battle Ground HealthCare in Battle Ground, Washington, United States, is the largest one-church-sponsored free medical clinic in the North American Division. [Photo: Kaleb Eisele, Oregon Conference]

In Battle Ground, Washington, United States, community members, members of the Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church, and staff members recently gathered in the lobby of the Battle Ground HealthCare building for the unveiling of a “Founders’ Sign.”

The sign reads, “In 2004, Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church purchased an adjacent building for the purpose of serving the community. As the church members learned of the unmet healthcare needs in northern Clark County, they wanted to use the space to help. Battle Ground HealthCare was born with a clear vision — to bring health, hope, and healing to people in our community.

“Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church has been an integral part of Battle Ground HealthCare since the first patient walked through the doors. Church members have been steadfast supporters, giving generously of their time, talent, and treasure — all in the name of serving others.

“We are forever grateful to Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church for their vision, dedication, and generosity in helping those in need.”

Today, Battle Ground HealthCare is the largest one-church-sponsored free medical clinic in the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It provides a wide range of medical services including dentistry, pain management, medication assistance, and physical rehabilitation free of charge to adults at, or below, 300 percent of the federal poverty level, bringing together local churches, businesses, health care providers, and individual volunteers to serve their local community in southwestern Washington.

One individual to receive life-changing medical care was Bob White. “I had to get a complete shoulder operation, but because of COVID it took me a couple of years to get there,” he shared with the gathered group. “I was told I had to get my teeth fixed before I could undergo surgery. This facility actually saved my life. I couldn’t find anyone else that would see me, nobody was taking patients at the time. So, I got online and found Battle Ground HealthCare, called them, and came down here.

“I couldn’t believe it. Maybe a week-and-a-half or two weeks later I wasn’t having headaches anymore. I didn’t have any fevers. My ears and throat didn’t hurt. I’d needed to have all of this done before I could go in for surgery, so they really saved me. I had been living in pain for two years. I couldn’t eat anything. But after I got all that done and healed up, they invited me back in for partial dentures. Now I can eat an apple almost every day! This is a great establishment, and I am just so overwhelmed by what they do. They’re just amazing and I would help them any time I could with anything!”

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The Founders’ Sign, recently unveiled at Battle Ground HealthCare. [Photo: Kaleb Eisele, Oregon Conference]

After receiving care himself, Bob continued to partner with Battle Ground HealthCare as a volunteer. Sue Neal, executive director, shared, “Bob is a great guy. He has been so grateful for the care and services he received here that he said, ‘I’ll do anything I can to help.’ He has a construction background and can do so many things. He even spent several hours touching up our paint and making it look wonderful for all of you here today, and he has gone out with us into the community to share his story.”

Michael Brackett, lead pastor at the Meadow Glade Adventist church, spoke on behalf of the church. “One of the greatest blessings in being a minister is to see church members work together with passion and unity to serve others and serve them effectively,” he said. “Having been here for about 15 months now, I have to say that Battle Ground HealthCare probably is one of the greatest examples of this that I have ever witnessed. It’s a beautiful sight to behold!

“So many have given of their time, and their talents, and their treasures, and this ministry has just become a tremendous, tremendous blessing,” Brackett added. “I only wish that I had been here from the ground up. I’m so grateful that our community can be continuously blessed by this effective ministry, and that I get to partner with this ministry moving forward as I am going through the process to become a board member even now. I’m very excited about that.

“I am so humbled by the ongoing support of our community — church membership that continues to give of their time and their talent and their treasure in every way,” Brackett said. “And lastly, I am just so grateful for the excellence in leadership that I have witnessed on a continuous basis here. I appreciate all of you for what you’re doing.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Oregon Conference news site.