On Tuesday, July 25, we celebrate our 1st anniversary in our new location! In the twelve months since we moved to Norcross, we have served our customers 22,300 times. Thanks be to God that we now have the facilities and resources to serve so many, and thanks to our faithful donors who have supported us so generously during the past year, as well as all the years before.
Also in July, we celebrate our 12th year serving the poor and uninsured of our region. Have we accomplished very much in that time? I certainly think so. We have provided care to more than 17,000 patients since opening in 2005. Inclusive of all reasons for visiting Good Sam Gwinnett, we, with the help of many hundreds of volunteers, have provided our community more than 110,000 customer encounters. And our rapid growth continues; we believe we will deliver more than 28,000 customer encounters during 2017. Year-to-date, we’ve seen customers enter the clinic 14,237 times. The work can at times be overwhelming, but oh the blessing it is to work for the King!
Nearing these anniversaries, it seems a good time to remember why this ministry was founded.
The mission of Good Sam Gwinnett is to demonstrate the love of Christ through the provision of health and dental services exclusively targeting the poor and uninsured. Our goals are to provide quality low-cost and easily accessible primary care and dental services to the uninsured, decrease demand of the uninsured for non-emergent services at the emergency room, and provide matriculating healthcare professionals with experience serving disadvantaged populations. Achieving our goals helps to eliminate health disparities for poor and uninsured populations, reduces the cost of indigent care on the public health delivery system, and increases awareness and sensitivity among rising medical professionals to the unique needs and challenges of the poor and uninsured.
We spread the Good News while healing the sick because God instructed us to do just that. We care about what happens in the emergency room because reports published by the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated every uninsured person costs hospitals $900 in uncompensated care each year, and found that anyone who goes into the hospital without insurance doubles their chances of filing for bankruptcy during the next four years. We care about helping rising healthcare professionals because Georgia is ranked 39th in physicians per capita. By 2020, our state is projected to be 50th in the number of primary care physicians per capita.
While the payoff is years in the making, we are helping to address the healthcare provider shortage. During the last five years, we assisted 265 medical, dental, and pharmacy students to complete their graduate programs, and in the process, we planted seeds of servitude. Today, many of our former students are licensed volunteers at Good Sam Gwinnett and elsewhere.
We ask you to help us continue all this work. Without you, we could not have come this far and accomplished so much, and without you, we cannot adequately respond to the demand that continues to increase year over year. Please review our list of programs, select one or several that tug at your heart, and make a donation today.