Feeling Good – Patient Success Story “Tyrell”

The MERCI Clinic patients want to tell their story– stories of how the clinic helps them get through the day. Without care from the clinic, they would be without much needed medical and dental care– and life-saving medicine. With no other options, they would be forced to seek care in the emergency room or– just go without. Many can only afford to buy either food for their family or insulin for their diabetes.

Tyrell is a 38 year old patient who is being treated for cavities and facial fillers. Growing up, he never went to the dentist except to have his wisdom teeth extracted; he had never had a cleaning. Tyrell also receives medical care and free prescriptions from the pharmacy at MERCI Clinic. He calculates his medicine bill would be at least $400 per month. He is self-employed and has never had health insurance. His back was recently injured in a car wreck, so he is not able to work much anymore.

Your donations make BIG differences in the lives of so many! No matter how big or small, we make sure to maximize every dollar. In fact, for every dollar donated, we provide $8.25 worth of quality health care for those in need. Please consider making a donation today; it could help save a life!

MAKE A DONATION

Save the Date! August 31 at Carolina Bagel

Carolina Bagel will be offering 10% of their proceeds to MERCI Clinic on Wednesday, August 31 throughout the day! Carolina Bagel has delicious bagels, coffee, and sandwiches; not to mention fantastic muffins and pastries! Thank you to Charley and the rest of the team at Carolina Bagel; we are so grateful for your generosity!

MERCI-Restaurant-Flyer-Bagel

Feeling Good – Patient Success Story “Walter”

The MERCI Clinic patients want to tell their story– stories of how the clinic helps them get through the day. Without care from the clinic, they would be without much needed medical and dental care– and life-saving medicine. With no other options, they would be forced to seek care in the emergency room or– just go without. Many can only afford to buy either food for their family or insulin for their diabetes.

Walter is 52 years old and has been patient for 4 years. He learned about the clinic from word-of-mouth and has friends who are also patients. Walter has heart disease and has been diagnosed with diabetes. He too receives medications from the clinic pharmacy. Walter has attended the free diabetes clinic and learned about healthy cooking, eating and food shopping. He has had health insurance in the past, but recently, his deductible was raised to $10k per year. Unfortunately, he is now unable to work and is in the process of getting disability benefits.

Your donations make BIG differences in the lives of so many! No matter how big or small, we make sure to maximize every dollar. In fact, for every dollar donated, we provide $8.80 worth of quality health care for those in need. Please consider making a donation today; it could help save a life!

MAKE A DONATION

Carolina Bagel New Bern

Save the Date: August 31 at Carolina Bagel

Carolina Bagel New BernCarolina Bagel will be offering 10% of their proceeds to MERCI Clinic on Wednesday, August 31 throughout the day! Carolina Bagel has delicious bagels, coffee, and sandwiches; not to mention fantastic muffins and pastries! Thank you to Charley and the rest of the team at Carolina Bagel; we are so grateful for your generosity!

Feeling Good – Patient Success Story “Danielle”

The MERCI Clinic patients want to tell their story– stories of how the clinic helps them get through the day. Without care from the clinic, they would be without much needed medical and dental care– and life-saving medicine. With no other options, they would be forced to seek care in the emergency room or– just go without. Many can only afford to buy either food for their family or insulin for their diabetes.

Danielle needs medications to control her blood pressure and diabetes. A few years ago, Danielle was laid off from her job when the company downsized. Danielle was forced to go on COBRA, but eventually had to withdraw due to the high cost. With no insurance, she was faced with paying a lot of money for her medications- or going without- so she went without. Obviously, her health declined rapidly until she was referred by a friend to the MERCI Clinic, where her high blood pressure and diabetes issues are being addressed.

Your donations make BIG differences in the lives of so many! No matter how big or small, we make sure to maximize every dollar. In fact, for every dollar donated, we provide $8.80 worth of quality health care for those in need. Please consider making a donation today; it could help save a life!

MAKE A DONATION

Burgers and brews at Beer Army to support MERCI

MERCI-Restaurant-Flyer-BeerArmyBurgers and brews for lunch? For dinner? Umm… YES PLEASE! Join us at Beer Army and enjoy delicious food and drinks. Proceeds from anything you purchase between 11am-10pm will come back to MERCI Clinic to help us in our mission of providing quality health care to those in need. While you’re here, purchase a raffle ticket for your chance to win $20,000! Odds of winning are 1 in 500, ALL raffle ticket proceeds come back to MERCI Clinic! Sounds like a great day to be in downtown New Bern!

Volunteer Orientation

PrimaryOur June Volunteer Orientation will be offered on Friday, June 3 at 10:00am. This is for ALL volunteers (nurses, pharmacy, lab techs, front desk, clerical, etc.). If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, or have recently joined our team and not attended orientation yet, this day is for you! Please complete the online application form PRIOR to coming to the orientation so we have the necessary information.

UPCOMING ORIENTATION DATES:
Friday, August 5 at 10:00am
Friday, October 7 at 10:00am
Friday, December 2 at 10:00am

A fond farewell to Dr. Heffington

Saying goodbye to a dear friend

By Priscilla Miller   

MarkHeffingtonMERCI Clinic has always been a volunteer driven organization, which includes volunteer physicians. MERCI had and still has an excellent group of doctors offering their time and talents, but the process sometimes left the clinic without the needed number of providers. In 2010, Nancy Alexander, then executive director of MERCI Clinic, wrote and was granted funding from the North Carolina Office of Rural Health to offer part time contract services to a primary care provider, which was offered to and accepted by Dr. Mark Heffington. Nancy’s forward thinking changed the clinic process overnight, assuring that a primary care provider was available from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m every Tuesday and Thursday.   

On March 9, 2010, when the clinic doors opened at 8 a.m. for the first time, primary care services were offered through appointments, even for the volunteer physicians who would continue to supplement services as their own schedules would allow. Gone were the days of patients lining up outside the clinic’s front door at 4 a.m., each hoping that he/she would be able to be seen by a physician when the doors opened at 2 p.m. Gone also was the heart wrenching knowledge by the clinic staff and volunteers that those standing in the lines were exposed to hot and humid searing sun on summer days, or freezing cold winds and rains of the winter. Gone were the problems of established patients not being able to access time with a physician because they were not able to secure one of the sacred 20 spots in the first come, first served line; the result being their inability to have their life sustaining medications reviewed and refilled.   

Dr. Heffington moved here from the mountains of North Carolina where he began his career of providing services to those without access to medical care. He was instrumental in founding similar clinics in Cashiers and Highlands and remained on their boards for a number of years. His fluency in Spanish helped him win a grant to provide services to migrant workers, a project called Vecinos Farmworker Health Program. Dr. Heffington began this project in the mountains, traveling from one farm to another. With a medically equipped van, he provided health services to the migrant population who did not have access to care. He continued this program when he relocated to Eastern North Carolina, providing medical care to the migrant population of this area, until 2011 when the funding ran out. Dr. Heffington began as a volunteer primary care provider at MERCI in 2009, as well as Hope Clinic in Bayboro and Broad Street Clinic in Morehead City. These are medical clinics in the area that provide services to the uninsured. Even when contracted with MERCI Clinic, Dr. Heffington continued volunteering at the two other clinics several evenings a month (after working an 8-9 hours day at MERCI).   

Dr. Heffington’s passion for and understanding of this population, his fluency in Spanish, his expertise in primary care and his unflappable manner earned him the Don Lucey Award, presented by the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics in 2014. He was also a nominee and high contender for the North Carolina Medical Society’s Doctor of the Year award in 2015. Though he did not win that award, he will always be THE Doctor of 2015 at MERCI Clinic.   

This past week found us having to say a tearful goodbye to Dr. Heffington, a much loved provider and dear friend to all at the clinic as he relocated to another part of the state. Patients, staff and volunteers alike will miss his smile and his sense of humor. The reality of his departure was apparent on Tuesday morning when the familiar hand wave and “good morning, everyone” was missing. Thank you, Dr. Heffington, for being such a positive and understanding presence at MERCI Clinic.

Feeling Good – Patient Success Story “David”

The MERCI Clinic patients want to tell their story– stories of how the clinic helps them get through the day. Without care from the clinic, they would be without much needed medical and dental care– and life-saving medicine. With no other options, they would be forced to seek care in the emergency room or– just go without. Many can only afford to buy either food for their family or insulin for their diabetes.

David is 57 years old and has been a patient for six months. David has never had health insurance; a nurse at a doctor’s office told him about the clinic. David was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis years ago, but his symptoms suddenly intensified to the point where he could not even get out of bed. He was in constant pain and could not work. He has also been diagnosed with asthma.   The clinic referred him to a rheumatologist who sees David in his office at no charge. He sees a MERCI Clinic physician about once a month and receives meds each month as well. David explains that he could not afford to pay a private doctor and purchase prescriptions too.

Your donations make BIG differences in the lives of so many! No matter how big or small, we make sure to maximize every dollar. In fact, for every dollar donated, we provide $8.25 worth of quality health care for those in need. Please consider making a donation today; it could help save a life!

MAKE A DONATION