Story of the Week: Texas Lions Create Primary Care Clinic
There are many issues in the headlines that may seem too large to tackle: health care, economic issues, climate change and unemployment. But the daunting nature of a nationwide issue did not deter the Irving DFW Indian Lions from starting an ambitious signature service project.
Seven years ago, their Dallas suburb was feeling the aftershock of the dot-com crash of 2000. Unemployment soared and many residents who were firmly in the middle class found themselves without insurance. Many more were unemployed, but still considered too wealthy to qualify for other types of assistance.
That’s when the club opened the doors to its first Primary Care Clinic of North Texas. Now with locations in Plano and Lewisville, the clinics saw nearly 7,000 patients last year at a cost of $35 per office visit. The clinics are fully staffed by paid employees five to six days per week. They charge nominal fees for blood work and other standard tests. The services are available to any person older than 12 without insurance.
Lions volunteer their time to balance the books, file the taxes and keep the clinics running. One Lion also donates his time as a medical doctor. Last year, 32 percent of the operating revenue was donated by Lions, private organizations and well-wishers. The remainder is collected from patients as fees for services rendered. The clinic receives no government assistance.
We recently went to the Clinic with a video crew to see what goes into this massive operation. Members of the Irving DFW Indian Lions Club were eager to provide a behind-the-scenes look at this community-improving service project.