The National Center for Health Statistics reported last year that in 2016 there were 28.2 million Americans ages 65 and under who were uninsured. The data from 2017 has not yet been released. Those statistics have never set well with family nurse practitioner Jaimi Norrell.
Norrell was born and raised in Warner Robins. She graduated from Northside High School and after graduation attended Middle Georgia State College to obtain her nursing degree. She began her career working at the Macon Medical Center for 10 years and then decided to go back to college to become a family nurse practitioner at Georgia Southern University. Norrell is married to her husband Kevin and together they have five children ranging in age from two months old to 14.
"About a year ago God placed on my heart that there are people in Middle Georgia praying for help with their healthcare,” Norrell said. "Our uninsured population continues to grow each year. I am a member of Abundant Grace Church here in Warner Robins so I brought before my pastors the idea of starting free health clinic ministry. We were blessed to open Hands of Grace Free Medical Clinic on October 7, 2017 and it continues to grow to this day.”
Hands of Grace Free Medical Clinic is open the first and third Saturdays of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Norrell said the clinic treats non-life threatening, time sensitive conditions such as rashes, scrapes, eye irritation, cough, cold, congestion, sore throat, frequent or painful urination and chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, all with non-narcotic medications and prescriptions.
"The clinic is absolutely free,” Norrell said. "We do not have a billing system nor do we check financial statuses. Anyone and everyone are welcome. We treat patients from six months old to adult. And really the only thing you fill out form wise with us is just your name, address, phone number and medical history. Yes the clinic is through our church, but you do not have to become a member to come to the clinic, again it is for everyone.”
Norrell said if a person has a medical emergency they should go to their local hospital’s ER. While Hands of Grace cannot treat serious health matters such as strokes or heart attacks, broken bones, etc. Norrell said if people have questions about those matters they can come in and her volunteers will do their best to answer them.
"Again we treat simple things, but those simple things add up in cost,” Norrell said. "No one should have to be stressed out or risk their health because they can’t afford it. We have a great group of volunteer nurses and students in college in the medical field, who care and we just want to let the community know that we are here.”
If anyone is interested in volunteering or making donations of supplies such as bandaids, gauze and diabetic supplies you contact Norrell at 478-225-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The only donation the clinic cannot receive is medicine.
For more information about the clinic visit Hands of Grace Free Medical Clinic Facebook page.