Hearing talk of the Presidential Election results everywhere I turn these days, I am prompted to write about our First Hundred Days. The First Hundred Days is a reference to the first 100 days of office of a new president of the United States. It is a measure of the early accomplishments and future success of the president just after moving into the Oval Office.
We began providing charitable healthcare services to the community at our new location on July 25. Our priorities were to expand our facility and operations so we could serve more people, launch a dispensary so our patients might have convenient access to low-cost medications, to improve our sustainability through investing in a donor development initiative, and launch a full-time dental practice so we could fill a void within the charitable services available in our community.
One hundred-eight days after our opening (okay, I’m a little late), I am pleased to report to you the following successes and accomplishments against our priorities:
We are indeed serving more people. We had only one month during 2015 when we served more than 1600 people. Since our relocation, we have provided services to more than 1600 people for three consecutive months, and we are on track to serve nearly 18,000 people by end of the year. Just this week we recorded our busiest day ever –140 people. We have nearly tripled the number of patients we serve under the age of eighteen, and are witnessing a 25% increase in the number of elderly patients we serve. We are grateful to our donors who made it possible for us to report success on this priority.
We now operate a Physician Dispensary, making available to our patients convenient access to free and low-cost medications. Research shows patients are much more likely to take prescribed medications if they leave their doctor’s office with the medications in hand. We are very optimistic this new service will help our patients achieve better health outcomes. We thank our donors for making it possible to report success on this priority.
Please let me introduce you to Nathaly Echeverri, who joined us a month ago as Development Associate. A graduate of Georgia State University, Andrew Young College of Public Policy, with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership, Nathaly is tasked with befriending our donors, extending our relationships within the business community, and identifying new sources of grant funding. She is off to an impressive start, and I personally thank our donors who invested in our human capital so that we could bring this talented young professional onto our team and satisfy this priority.
We have launched our dental practice and provided dental services to 100 patients during October, two times more than we served in September. The fact the dental practice is operating and seeing an increasing number of patients sounds like a success, but we are not satisfied. We are not yet seeing as many patients as we should, for we have not secured enough volunteer dentists to meet our goal of operating five days a week. More than 700 people have asked for a dental appointment. We have the facility and desire to address that enormous need, but need more volunteer dentists to help us get the work done. Having the dental practice operate at its capacity is our highest priority in 2017. We are very thankful to our donors who helped fund the construction and equipping of the practice, we are very thankful to those dentists who have stepped forward to help us, and we ask you to join us in the effort to recruit more dentists to help us care for the oral health needs of the poor in our community. We will not let go of this goal.
I hope you are pleased with what we have accomplished during our first 108 days, and I hope you will encourage us with the offer of financial support before the end of the year. The significant year over year growth of our ministry since 2011 comes at an ever increasing cost, and we depend on your donations to keep our appointment fees at a price point our uninsured patients can afford. Our 2017 Budget is $1.7 Million and patients will pay half that cost. We need your help to fill the $850,000 gap so that we might accomplish the following:
Provide 14,000 medical appointments
Provide 6,000 dental appointments
Provide 4,000 social services appointments
Provide 500 volunteers with service learning opportunities
Mentor and train 200 students of the healthcare profession
Please, make a gift to this organization today. As always, our prayer for you is…
May you be blessed in abundance so that you might bless with abandon!