Medical Volunteers Sought For Local Mission Work
Published: April 16, 2009
ATLANTA—A new collaboration between the local members of the Order of Malta and an arm of Saint Joseph Hospital aims to provide medical care for families at the Solidarity Mission Village.
The focus for the Order of Malta, a religious organization founded during the Crusades, is finding needed doctors, nurses and physician assistants to volunteer for this work. Medical workers with specialties for treating children and families are especially in demand.
The volunteer medical workers will see patients using the Saint Joseph Hospital’s Mercy Care Services mobile clinic.
It is a project in keeping with the Order of Malta’s charge to care for the sick and the poor, said Warren Stoughton, an organizer.
“It’s an easy sale,” he said. “The medical community I have talked to is looking for a way to give back like this,” said Stoughton, who worships at St. Jude the Apostle Church, Sandy Springs.
Started nine years ago, the Solidarity Mission Village offers spiritual and social services, including religious education, sacramental preparation, mentoring, English as a Second Language and computer classes. It serves about 3,000 Hispanic families. An independent Catholic school for Hispanic youngsters anchors the former strip mall, which is near the Roswell Road and I-285 intersection.
Opening a clinic at the facility was always part of its master plan. Expanding into medical services helps with a pressing need in the Hispanic community.
According to a 2008 health survey, one in four Hispanic adults in the U.S. did not have a regular health care provider. At the same time, according to a Pew Hispanic Center survey of Latino adults, close to 80 percent learn about health issues from alternatives sources, not medical workers.
To start the program, Mercy Care’s mobile doctor’s office will operate as a clinic twice a month at the facility. Organizers hope to expand this service with enough volunteer support. Supporters are recruiting medical workers to give a day or two half-days per month or those who can substitute for another volunteer, if necessary.
Volunteers will work under the umbrella of Saint Joseph Mercy Care Services’ liability insurance. The clinic would operate under the direction of the Mercy Care’s medical director. Staff will include a certified medical assistant, coach driver and volunteers.
Nurse volunteers are needed for immunizations during the clinic hours and occasionally during the year for health screenings on the weekends or during the evening hours.
For more information or to volunteer, call Warren Stoughton at (404) 255-9279 or Nicole Smith, volunteer coordinator at Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care, at (678) 843-8510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.