Free clinic receives support from Walmart

Published 12:54 pm Thursday, April 9, 2009

Securing funds for non–profit work can be a tough task these days.

But organizers of the Cahaba Valley Health Clinic in North Shelby pulled teeth all year and recently found support by way of a $10,500 check from the Walmart Foundation.

“We’re thrilled about what this check means for the work we do,” said Executive Director Edwina Taylor.

CVH works to serve uninsured members of the community by providing free vision, dental and nutrition screenings to assess what services a person might require.

Once those are completed, organizers recruit volunteer nurses and doctors who arrange for patients to return for a dental appointment or see another doctor.

The organization opened its dental trailer, where extractions and other procedures often take place, last year. Donors provided Cahaba Valley with that trailer and all the equipment within it.

But keeping it up still becomes costly.

“The trailer was built in 1979, so it’s like driving an old car –– you’re going to need repairs. It’s the big things like repairing the trailer, but also the little things that really add up,” Taylor said. “We spent $10,000 replacing disposable items last year alone.”

Disposable items include things such as lidocaine, toothpaste and dental gowns. Taylor said they also have to keep forceps, which costs $200 a pair, and other tools like burrs stocked up.

The work doesn’t stop here. CVH partnered with Project Homeless Connect earlier this year to screen more than 200 people for vision problems. During that session, two people had to be rushed to the emergency room for eye care and more than 130 needed glasses.

“We’re doing something 34 Sundays a year and many of us still push to see more patients, but with volunteer workers you can only do so much,” Taylor said.

Northside Baptist in Calera plans to host the next screening April 26 at 1 p.m. Anyone interested in the screening need to show up by 12:30 p.m. to ensure a spot in line. Volunteers can only see 50 patients at the screening.

They also plan host screenings May 3 at the Multicultural Resource Center in Hoover and July 12 at Riverchase United Methodist in Hoover.