YOUNGSTOWN (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero is not a person, but rather a group of volunteers who came together to offer quality healthcare to the Valley’s uninsured.
The Midlothian Free Health Clinic operates out of the First Presbyterian Church on Wick Avenue in Youngstown. It’s open for business on the second and fourth Thursday of every month.
Medical Director Dr. Thomas Albani said the clinic would not be possible without the dedicated work of the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
“You get into medicine because you want to help people and make a difference,” he said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in our community to people that are truly in need. These are people who are underserved. They can’t afford medical healthcare insurance, and they don’t qualify for public assistance, so they truly are in need.”
Alberta Slenker is a retired registered nurse. She and her colleagues came up with the idea of organizing a free health clinic.
It opened in 2008, and she’s happy to see how far it’s come.
“It’s really come along, really progressed and become a reality,” she said.
The clinic offers basic primary health screenings twice a month, but throughout every week, patients are treated with several specific clinics, like rehabilitation and health education.
Youngstown native Levon Johnson suffered a debilitating stroke, and after coming to the clinic for a screening, he’s almost back to his old self after only six months.
“They have been wonderful,” Johnson said. “They’ve helped me from the time of getting back to walk. My blood pressure was out of control. My blood sugar was out of control, and they’ve been able to bring all that back in.”
The clinic relies on donations and volunteers, including Youngstown State University students.
Dr. Albani said those give their time at the clinic get a rewarding experience.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s a wonderful experience. It’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “People are just very thankful and very happy to be here, to know that there are people here willing to help them.”
You can get more information on the Midlothian Free Health Clinic at (330) 787-4193 and at www.mfhclinic.com.