Hope Health Clinic

Nurse practitioner Lupita Smith works with patients at Hope Health Clinic.

A plain brick building nestled in the parking lot behind Baptist Health in La Grange houses Hope Health Clinic. 

It hardly stands out from the rest.

The care does.

A masked volunteer with a clipboard waits for clients at the door. She fills out forms and takes temperatures. She calls clients into the clinic one at a time where they are welcomed by clinic staff who know their names and stories.

Founded in 2011 to provide medical care for the uninsured, Hope Health Clinic has more than 4,000 clients. The clinic survives with support from local churches, including Southeast Christian Church, grants, individual donations and partnerships.

The clinic is run by a dedicated group of paid staff and volunteers.

Though Hope Health Clinic does not offer COVID-19 testing, it has seen an increase in patients. Some clients have lost their jobs, lost their insurance or cannot afford their deductible. The fee at Hope Health is $15.

“The vast majority of our clients are employed,” said Executive Director Janet Warren. “They’re low-wage earners, working in day cares, restaurants, self-employed with landscaping jobs. Many have been without health care a long time.”

Clients come from Oldham, Henry, Carroll and Jefferson counties in Kentucky and as far away as Indiana. Most hear by word of mouth.

Hope Health Clinic is adding an in-house pharmacy as well as women’s cancer screenings. Many patients have not taken prescribed medications for a long time due to the expense. The health team works on better long-term health, teaching and coaching.

Recently the clinic cared for a 31-year-old with pain and severe indigestion. Staff referred her to the emergency room where doctors found a large malignant tumor. Clinic staff followed her through treatment. They have seen cases of infected gall bladders and acute appendicitis and provide care for those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

Many clients have gone without care a long time.

“By the time they get to us, there’s a lot to fix,” Warren said.

Volunteers are always needed and may commit to serve specific days of the week. The care is so personal that some clients who get insurance through their jobs continue to come to the clinic.

“We think it’s important they see the same faces when they come. We also build a community of volunteers. We do a lot of case management,” Warren said. “We care for the need that brings them in the door, but we also want to help them with long-term needs.”

For more information, visit www.hopehealthclinicky.com.