CHHC celebrates volunteers

The Community of Hope Health Clinic celebrated the volunteers who make the medical mission possible during the annual Volunteer and Partner Appreciation Banquet on Oct. 27. (Contributed)

The Community of Hope Health Clinic celebrated the volunteers who make the medical mission possible during the annual Volunteer and Partner Appreciation Banquet on Oct. 27. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—The Community of Hope Health Clinic celebrated and thanked the organization’s volunteers during the annual Volunteer and Partner Appreciation Banquet on Oct. 27 at the Asbury United Methodist Church.

“This is strictly to let our volunteers know how much we appreciate them,” CHHC Executive Director Chris Monceret said of the event.

Housed in the Shelby County Health Department building in Pelham, the CHHC is a medical mission that provides free, quality medical care and services to medically uninsured Shelby County residents whose household income is “at or below 200 percent of the poverty level.”

“It was through the print media that I found out about the Community of Hope Health Clinic,” Dr. Ike Ijemere said. “(The mission) touched my heart.”

The CHHC relies on volunteer doctors and nurses in order to provide medical services free of charge to patients.

“I was looking for something like this,” Stephanie McGilvray, assistant professor in UAB’s Surgical Physician Assistant Program and three month volunteer at CHHC, said of the volunteer work at the CHHC.

Founded in October 2008, the CHHC started as a one-night-a-week clinic, serving patients only on Thursday nights. Since then, the clinic expanded, seeing patients Monday and Tuesday mornings and Thursday nights in a new 2,000 square-foot space complete with offices and examining rooms for patients and doctors.

“We’re still working on getting more physicians,” Monceret said. “That’s really the way we’re going to expand on Thursday nights.”

CHHC volunteer doctors and nurses saw nearly 2,000 appointments in the past year, and the volunteers expressed enjoyment and fulfillment from the work.

“Its just the most incredible feeling. You feel you’re finally doing what you purpose was when you went into medicine,” McGilvray said. “It’s just so rewarding… Spreading that message, you do make a difference little by little.”

“I feel fulfilled when I go there to work,” Ijemere said.

For more information about the CHHC, visit Communityofhomeclinic.com.