You may recall, dear readers, last year's story about how the management of St. Mary's Hospital pulled its support from Catherine's Care Center, the medical clinic behind the blue doors at St. Alphonsus serving the indigent and uninsured. St. Mary's claimed that it did so because Catherine's Care was duplicative of other health care services in the Grand Rapids area. Our survey of the area's clinics showed that this was false.
In fact, Catherine's Care is unique as an independent clinic free to set its own rules to serve as many of the needy as it can in our city. It seems that the clinic's independence was the real reason for St. Mary's severing its support of it, as the hospital has, little by little, turned away from its Catholic mission as a charitable institution. Apparently profit is the new idol at St. Mary's as it gets sucked down the maw of Advantage Health.
A year later we have the pleasure of reporting that Catherine's Care Center is still going strong under the leadership of Dr. John Walen. One of the guiding lights of the clinic, Director Helen Lehman, reported that Catherine's Care keeps expanding its clientele and is able to add nine new patients a day. Plus, through a lot of hard work the clinic now has new sources of funding to help handle the growing health care needs of northeast side residents.
Nevertheless, Catherine's Care can always use your contributions. (See here for how you can help.) Also, if you can afford to pay, consider using Catherine's Care for your kid's physical exam to qualify for a school sports program or booster shots for the youngsters or other routine medical care for your family. Every little bit helps to keep this unique health care resource thriving in our community.