To the editor:

As we approach the end of the year, I cannot help but reflect on how much we have to be thankful for.

St. Martin's Healthcare is truly blessed. I wish I had the space to list every single staff member, volunteer, board member, foundation, non-profit, church, civic group, business, and individual donor who has supported us this year. Your gifts of cards, cookies, meals, signs, and handmade masks encourage us. PPE and Infection Control donations and financial gifts alike have made a significant impact on how we serve the under served. Thank you.

2020 has been an uncertain year. But, uncertainty did not scare you. Through a global pandemic, social unrest, a presidential election, and natural disasters, you have shown up. Thank you for sticking with us this year. Thank you for sharing your time, talent, and giving when we needed it the most. Because of your generous support, patients are empowered to take control of their health and our staff and volunteers are inspired to keep fighting the good fight! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Our faith is unshaken. Our patient stories and surveys attest to how needed our clinic services are to care for those without the ability to care for themselves. This year we have looked a global pandemic in the eye, behind garb, mask, gloves, and disinfectant spray. Never giving in. We instated COVID-19 protocols and continued to serve. We see an increase in patients who lost their insurance due to a job loss or a cut in hours. Through no fault of their own, entire families have lost the ability to make their health a priority, as they are left with the choice of rent payments, food for their children, or needed medicines and doctor visits. Something they never thought would happen to them. So they come to us — St. Martin’s Healthcare.

Despite the obstacles, the overwhelming community support of our mission allows St. Martin’s Healthcare to remain open during our regular clinic hours throughout the pandemic and quickly pivot policies and care models to put patients’ safety and health first. We offer masked in-person appointments and tele and audio health appointments. We switched from walk-in hours to an appointment-only schedule. At the very beginning, we filled medications, continued mental health counseling over the phone, and offered glucometers and blood pressure cuffs at no cost to our patients so they could regularly test their levels at home. This year we have recruited new volunteer Nurse Practitioners and even a Public Health intern to serve our patients with professionalism and grace.

We serve the uninsured and underinsured needs of DeKalb and Noble County Indiana residents. And it’s all because of you. We never receive any government funding. All clinic funding comes from fundraisers, grants, foundations, churches, businesses, civic organizations, and individual donors just like you. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from all of us at St. Martin’s Healthcare. Thank you for supporting us this year. Take the greatest care of those around you this winter. Stay healthy, safe and blessed.

Grace Caswell

St. Martin’s Healthcare

Garrett

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