April 22, 2024

If Vicki Davies’ fondest wish came true, every eligible client who needed healthcare—including dental work and mental health services—would be seen at St. Luke’s Community Clinic.

Executive Director Davies says providing healthcare to uninsured and under-insured Front Royal/Warren County residents does not come cheap. Projected costs for providing care in 2022 include just under $47,000 for the lone dentist who currently sees patients at the clinic. Davies says she is looking to add another dentist, which would bring costs to about $94,000.

The clinic (saintlukeclinic.org) currently has a dentist who works 3 days a month; a second dentist would see patients one day a week. Patients can receive dental x-rays, extractions, fillings, root canals, and dental hygiene.

St. Luke’s has hired a dental assistant who typically works when the dentist is scheduled and Davies says she hopes to hire a dental hygienist to work one day per week, who could potentially see six patients per day. That would be a great service to the community and would cost about $11,000 annually Davies said in a recent interview. Each of those cleanings would cost the clinic about $17 in dental equipment and supplies.

The need for mental health services in the community outpaces the number of providers, Davies stated. St. Luke’s has a counselor now who works part-time, but the hope is to expand the number of days the provider is available.

“We just hired a mental health counselor and currently she works only two days a week, but as money allows us and the need for the counselor increases, we hope to increase her hours to full time. When patients come to see our mental health counselor, we don’t rush their appointment or limit them to the office. She takes all the time they need and sometimes goes for walks to talk and sort things out.”

The cost for a counselor to work two seven or eight-hour shifts per week is around $25,000 annually. In addition to the cost of staff, there is overhead associated with operating the clinic, which is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

How you can help

St. Luke’s annual gala is held each fall, though the Covid-19 pandemic forced the event to be canceled for the past two years. This year’s gala at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club is on Sept. 10. There will be fine dining, music by Shae Parker and a silent auction. Tickets are $75.00 each or a table of tickets is $500. Sponsorships are available. For more information contact Vicki Davies at (540) 636-4325, Extension 221.

For those interested in helping the clinic’s fundraising efforts, items are being accepted for the gala’s silent auction. Suggestions for donations include:

  • Quilts
  • Event Tickets
  • Fine Dining Experiences
  • Food for the Family
  • Outings in the Area
  • Custom Baked Goods i.e., Cake a Month
  • Handbags/Accessories
  • Vacation weekend or week
  • Jewelry – Fine or Costume
  • Pottery
  • Wines/Liquors
  • Wine Tasting
  • Gift Baskets
  • Kitchen Tools/Appliances

St. Luke’s Community Clinic strives to serve eligible residents of Front Royal/Warren County. For more information on new patient screening requirements, appointments, volunteering, or to donate call: (540) 636-4325. St. Luke Community Clinic, 316 North Royal Avenue, Front Royal, Virginia or visit saintlukeclinic.org.

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