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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
June 19, 1998     The Message
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June 19, 1998
 

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana . i00ree Oklahoma City health clinic serves m By JENNIFER LEIRER Catholic News Service OKLAHOMA CITY (CNS) -- In the early 1990s, members of the social ministries board at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Oklahoma City had the kind of idea that can change lives. They decided to turn a white-frame, two-story build- ing used as a parish meeting place into a free health clinic for the neighborhood -- St. Charles Clinic. Members renovated the property, recruited physi- cians, nurses and parishioners to volunteer and obtained donated medicine to start a pharmacy. With support from St. Charles Parish and Catherine McAuley Community Trust, the clinic opened in Sep- tember 1993 to provide doctoring and medicine to peo- ple who cannot afford even basic medical care, much less health insurance. Barbara Trimble, the clinic's volunteer director, told the Sooner Catholic, Oklahoma City's archdiocesan newspaper, that the facility's mission is simple: Any- one without health or medical insurance -- young mothers with small children, college students, people out of work, or retired couples who can't qualify for Medicare -- is eligible for services. The doors open every day at 5:30 p.m., but patients begin lining up outside by 4. It's first-come, first-served. No appointment necessary. "Normally the volunteer staff sees 10-18 patients per evening," Trimble said. "When it's clinic night, etery chair is occupied." The caregivers are volunteer nurses, physicians, clerks, lab technicians, pharmacists and nursing stu- dents from the University of Oklahoma and the Uni- versity of Central Oklahoma. "They're great!" Trimble said. "They absolutely love it here. Everyone gets along, and they receive training on a nightly basis. It's a cooperative effort as everyone is so helpful." At 5:30 p.m., nurses and other volunteers record patients' vital signs and complaints. Doctors, most of whom are residents from Catholic-run Mercy Health Center and St. Anthony Hospital, arrive at 6 p.m.; they see each patient and order necessary lab work. Lab personnel then volunteer their services to process the requests. The clinic is equipped to handle illnesses and minor injuries only. "We are not equipped to han- dle broken bones or other serious emergencies," Trimble explained. "We'd have to refer them else- where." St. Charles Clinic maintains "a very large referral list for patients who need extra care," said Trimble. "Most of the hospitals ask the doctors to do a little community work. So even if they can just see one patient a year, it really helps a lot." To assist with referrals and other needs, the clinic established a coalition with area hospitals and church- es that also maintain free clinics. Doctors' offices donate medicines, and Mercy Health Center also gives the clinic supplies and pharmacy items when it can, said Trimble. If medicines are not available, patients are sent to the Wal-Mart and St. Charles Parish pays the bill. The clinic also wants to help people eligible funded insurance coverage file the The clinic is also expanding its services to wellness and community education ing breast self-exam clinics, diabetes education, and nutrition classes fo ic also recently received a grant that will room on site to be remodeled for handicap ty and expansion of its triage. hen it's every chair is "We just keep improving," Trimble now everything is handicap-accessible. one wish, it would be that more care professionals and a dentist the clinic could be open more days and and offer more services. Those who say they don't have time should consider volunteer Trimble. She is student at Southern Nazarene University. She will graduate in September with a degree in organizational back for a master's degree, tinue her work at the clinic. clinic night,. The Secret's Out Top 10 reasons why dads love N FP All around the Diocese of Evansville, there are dads who use Natural Family Planning! Seven of these fathers gave their thoughts on NFP for this article. Some fathers wished to remain anonymous. Others appear in the photograph or are quoted below. NEWS AND COMMENTARY By SOOZI SCHELLER Contributing writer 1. NFP helps me love their mother, the best gift a dad can give his kids: NFP allows for total self-giving in a marriage. When parents give this full love to each other, they model Christ's love more perfectly to their children. 2. NFP helps me know and understand my wife: NFP hus- bands stay close in touch with the physical changes their wives go through each reproductive cycle. David Niehaus of New- burgh says, "NFP helps me understand my wife and it helps her understand herself. It helps the whole family this way." 3. NFP promotes communica- tion between us: "Just the sim- ple notation of signs at the end of a day becomes a reference point for us. It opens up impor- tant conversation for us," one husband describes. NFP for help to achieve a preg- nancy feel a sense of relief because NFP increases their per- sonal knowledge and involve- ment. Both the husband and the wife gain a greater understanding of their situation with NFP." 5. NFP is effective: NFP is 99.6 percent effective for avoiding pregnancy. One father shared, "For several years a pregnancy could have devastated my wife's and our family's health. Not only did NFP help us to effectively avoid a pregnancy during this time, NFP has provided medical solutions to our health problems. We couldn't be more blessed! We can soon use NFP's effectiveness in achieving pregnancy to time a future conception for optimal medical benefits as well." 6. NFP helps us open our mar- riage to God and His will for our lives: In using NFP, nothing is done to change the fertility of the husband or the wife. "We trust God to help us with that intimate part of our relationship," says Pat Bender of Cynthiana who finds this trust comforting. 7. I have a clear conscience with NFP: The fathers who gave their thoughts for this article feel peace living in unity with the teaching of the Catholic Church on fertility appreciation. cist whoted a commission on the Study of Abortion Deaths and the President of Pharmacists for Life, estimated that at least 834,000 abortions, and probably many more, were caused with the use of oral contraceptives in 1991. Those deaths are equivalent in number to the number of people effected by the fatal crashing of 1,853 fully-loaded 747 airplanes. 8. My children and my wife are helping me get to heaven: "We all get to heaven much eas- ier together than alone," says one dad. "God knows better than me what I need to get to heaven and he gives it to me in my children and my wife." 9. NFP adds weight to the vocation of fatherhood: "We always hear about the vocation to the priesthood," begins one dad, but perhaps, "Greater atten- tion to the true vocation of mar- riage needs to be paid, to the father as a loving spouse and parenL We know our legal rights as fathers better than our spiritu- al duties." This father went on to describe a spiritual role of father- hood that NFP helps him fulfill. "A spiritual father remains open to life and open to God's will at each moment, at each act of inter- course." 10. NFP helps me to be a part of the Culture of Life: For Jeff Norman, Greg Haas and David Niehaus are instance, Pat Bender states, "In nature, as well as in our econo- my, especially in farming, the goal is to be productive and fruitful, to increase the yield. Yet our culture teaches us that when it comes to our families and children, that, 'Less is bet- ter,' and says, 'Limit the yield!'" NFP helps dads grow spiritual- ly towards the ideal culture, a Culture of Life. The fathers who gave their thoughts to this article really feel NFP has tremendous posi- tive benefit on their lives of their entire families. They gladly shared their experiences. They hope that more families will catch on to NFP, "the best kept secret" in the Diocese of Evans- ville today. For more oFIe of Family Planning Martl's Medical .. -- ommUmtY 4110; the C Planning tal and Health Care at (812) 482-0636 7295; or The as NFP Instructor in (812) 882-5688. To tions to the ly Planning Evansville, Foundation at Natural are available fron Matters at price covers Session and 4. NFP allows me to become more involved in our childbear- ing: "Since we've been using I know the actual night of ption of ea,,ch of our subse- t" children, says another '.q.at knowledge gives me a- sense of involvement." Practitioner Shawn Bender notes, "The couples who strug- gle with infertility and come to Mark Kempf is glad he has help in planning his family without imposing any unnatural risks to his wife's health. He is glad to have NFP, a true meilmd of  ily planning, Becauu 1 and  other dads uM NF, do subject their families to the abortion-causing mechanisms of birth control pills. Dr. Bogomir Kuhar, a pharma- _ e00:heands ST MA 00,a00llcpetspeca00,ve is 00al.[h Care a courtesy of Services i i