Annual Gala in the Valley at the Wadsworth
Thank you Karen for the introduction and thanks
to all of you for inviting me to speak to you
Let me start by asking you to turn your imaginations on for a
minute. Imagine you have precious little money, and after paying your
rent, you have to choose between buying groceries, buying gas so you can
get to work, or getting your prescriptions filled. Which would you
Or how about this one? You're sick
and you've a job and medical insurance, but you don't have money for a doctor copay or a
specialists. What do you do? Scrimp on the groceries and go to
the doctor or just tough it out and hope for the best.
Finally, perhaps you've lost your job and now you don't have any medical insurance and you fall ill. Where
would you turn for help?
In all of these scenarios you could turn to us, the Geneseo Parish Outreach Center. We exist to fill these
needs of the less fortunate people of Livingston County and beyond.
Here's an example of the type of thing we deal with every day. A
local doctor referred a patient to us who had no dental insurance.
His teeth are black and his mouth a mess.
we partner with local dentists, we were able to refer him to a dentist
and pay for his needed work at a fraction of the cost it would have been
otherwise. And how did we pay for that work? With funds from the grant you
folks sitting before me so generously gave us. I can't tell you how good
we all felt when he returned to our Center, free of pain, to show us his
new teeth. It's a feeling that you may share with us. Working together, we
gave this man a new life.
We also have diabetics who come in our door who are unable to pay
for their insulin. They may have heard about us from a friend or
read about us in a newspaper or Penny Saver and call us for help.
Here again, we are able to help these people because of the monies we
received in your United
Way Grant. If you'd like to see the substantial
cost savings to both patients and to us as citizens of Livingston County, check our website under
Student Research. You'll also find there a great video created by
David Morris, a now former college student from SUNY Geneseo,
demonstrating the Return on Investment from our
Here's a third example of what together we are able to do to change
lives. We had a patient referred to us by Noyes Hospital who couldn't be released
from the hospital until he could be monitored by a physician. His
doctor was in another state and his insurance didn't cover treatment
here. One of our doctors was able to see him and monitor his
condition allowing him to be released from the hospital and thereby
reducing his expenses. I wish time allowed me to tell you about the unique
way he used his talents to repay the clinic. It would not at all
surprise you to learn how grateful clients are for the help that they
receive, but you might be amazed at how some have given back by offering
their unique God-given talents.
We are the only clinic in Livingston
County offering this
type of assistance. There are others clinics like ours around the
United States doing
similar work and perhaps helping a Livingston County resident visiting their part
of the country. We belong to the National Association of Free and
Charitable Clinics where all of us get together and share ideas and often
dreams of what more we could do if the funds were available. We
recently attended the national convention in Orlando, where we
learned "If you see one
charitable clinic, you've seen one
charitable clinic." While we all do much the same thing, we're all
different, but working toward the same goal.
The Geneseo Parish Outreach is an all-volunteer organization; there
are no salaries. The Center's staff, including – God bless them! -
our doctors, nurses, administrators, and paras, come from all over the county to volunteer
their time and talents. The past month alone our volunteers logged
over 536 hours. The Geneseo United Methodist Church donates the space, heating,
and lighting for our operation. Our overhead operating expenses
consist mostly of telephone and fax, insurance, computer equipment and
repair, off site back up network for secure electronic medical records and
office supplies. These operating expenses amount only about 10% of our
budget. Much of our medical equipment has been given to
us by local doctors as they upgrade or retire. We partner with many
organizations in our community in order to accomplish our goal of treating
the whole patient and not just a single ailment of that patient.
Again a visit to our website will show you some of our many partners, and
will tell you about the bags of food, paper goods and sometimes gas cards
we give to patients when they come for their appointments. We're
also a medical insurance navigator site.
In closing I must tell you that we're always dreaming. We
dream of a new EKG machine, preventative dental care assistance for all of
our clients, an automated texting system to send clients reminders of
upcoming appointments. With such a system we could also alert our diabetic
clients about upcoming diabetic clinics and send reminders to clients when
it's time for a blood test. This automated capability would cut down
on the many hours that volunteer spend making calls.
Well, that's a quick overview of what we do at the Geneseo Outreach
Center, or rather what together we do, because we couldn't do nearly so
much without the generous help of United Way of Livingston County. All of
us involved in the Clinic can't begin to thank you enough for the support
you have given us in the past, and certainly for the funds you are
providing us for the coming year. Together we are improving the health and
well-being of Livingston County residents in need.