|Post clinic awarded grant
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
Gov. Matt Bevin, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr and several other leaders were in Mt. Sterling Saturday for the announcement that the Post Clinic has been awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to go toward the building of a new facility.
Mayor Al Botts said local officials are also eagerly awaiting an announcement as to whether the Post Clinic has been awarded an additional Appalachian Regional Commission grant.
If awarded, Botts said the hope is that the ARC grant would cover the remainder of the cost of building the new clinic, an estimated $1.3 million.
The clinic is currently located at 15 Sterling Ave. The new clinic would be at the corner of Sycamore and Sterling Avenue where a parking lot is currently located.
The building it is currently using was donated by Dr. Byram Ratliff and his wife, Jennifer.
Dr. Edward Roberts, president of the Post Clinic Board of Directors, said the current building would then be used for another medical entity, emergency housing or some other purpose as yet undetermined.
“We’re just not sure,” Roberts said.
He said the post clinic board, its medical providers and the volunteers were all thrilled with the news of the CDBG.
“We’re delighted for two reasons,” Roberts said. “No. 1, it helps us meet the goals that we set for ourselves to provide outstanding health care for people in need for our 15-county service area, but also it’s a recognition or acknowledgement that what the Post Clinic does is important.”
Louise Summers, the clinic’s CEO, said the announcement was like “hitting the jackpot” considering where the clinic started.
The clinic began in 1996 with two exam rooms at its former location in the Presbyterian Post (the old city post office) on Main Street downtown. The clinic moved to its current location in 2017.
Summers said a new facility will not only provide better care for the clinic’s patients, but offer a state-of-the-art facility that should attract more volunteers.
The Post Clinic provides free medical and dental services to the uninsured or underinsured throughout the region.
Growing up in a poverty-stricken home of eight children, Gov. Bevin said he never received regular medical care until he got older. He added that he was 14 before he ever had an eye exam and he has thick scars from injuries during his childhood when he also broke his fingers and had them treated at home.
“I have empathy for people in need and me personally, I’m thankful for the work that you do and the services you provide for people,” said Bevin, who spoke before a gathering of about 50 people at the clinic.
“It’s with great honor that we are here and able to talk about the grants,” he told the crowd.
Bevin said the grant, which was made available through the federal office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is designed to do three things—serve low to moderate income individuals, provide “a beacon of light” to the community and provide for community development.
The governor said the Post Clinic meets all three measures.
He said the grant will not provide all the funding for a new 3,700 square foot facility, but will bring the project much closer to a reality.
Bevin was also accompanied on his Court Days visit by Barr and state Sen. Ralph Alvarado.
Both leaders commended the medical providers and volunteers who serve the clinic.
“For those who have responded to that call, thank you very much,” Barr said of them. “And for the community that cares and supports those volunteers and those providers to help these folks, thank you very much, too.”
Barr said the clinic can always count on his support.
With all the changes going on in health care, Alvarado said it’s nice to have something like the Post Clinic to help those who are uninsured, underinsured or have high deductibles.
He noted the importance of having access to orthopedics, mammograms, dental care, surgery and more at the clinic.
Sandy Dunahoo, the state commissioner for the Dept. for Local Government, said she understands the plight of those served by the clinic because she has had members of her own family who couldn’t afford health care at times.
Dunahoo said those serving the clinic are to be commended because they are not spending their time on the golf course, but are volunteering their time, even doing surgery on Sundays to serve their community.
She said the clinic helps those who might fall between the cracks in receiving proper health care.
“The Post Clinic can solve that problem and they do it every day,” Dunahoo said.
Botts welcomed the news concerning the grant.
“We are very fortunate to live in a community, which provides our residents with multiple options for their primary and comprehensive health and dental care needs,” he said. “This is very exciting news for the Post Clinic and for the residents of Montgomery County and the surrounding counties who rely on the services provided at this clinic. I look forward to seeing this clinic grow and thrive in coming years.”
Botts thanked Dunahoo for her involvement in seeing that the Post Clinic got the grant funds.
“She’s been here several times this year and every time she visits she asks how she can help,” Botts said.
Botts thanked the other local leaders who have assisted in the process, as well as the Gateway Area Development District, which helped with the grant application.
Montgomery County Judge-Executive Wally Johnson also thanked those involved in making the grant possible.
“There is such a great demand for medical care for uninsured Kentuckians and I am very grateful to the governor, Post Clinic, city of Mt. Sterling, Dept. of Local Government and the dedicated volunteers for leading the way to make health care available to those in need in Montgomery County and surrounding counties,” Johnson said.
State Rep. David Hale, Bath County Judge-Executive Bobby Rogers and Mt. Sterling City Council members