AP NEWS

Aiken Community Medical Clinic helps residents get the care they need

May 5, 2019

Proper medical care isn’t always easily accessible for those who have suddenly had their benefits cut, lost their jobs, or are forced to go to emergency rooms for medical attention.

The staff, made up of mostly volunteers healthcare providers, nurses and pharmacists, in a tiny building on Greenville Street in Aiken is aiming to help ease that burden.

“We are a free medical clinic, and what we do is provide free medical care to those who are uninsured,” said Community Medical Center of Aiken Executive Director Jamie Mothkovich.

″(That’s) Aiken County residents between the ages of 19 and 64 that are low-income. We serve around 200 percent federal poverty guideline, and that’s based on household size.”

Mothkovich said patients have to have a “qualifying chronic health condition” such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure. If they meet the basic criteria, the center can help them receive medical care they would otherwise not be able to afford.

“They are able to get free health care, free medications, free labs and tests or at a reduced cost at Aiken Regional,” said Mothkovich. “They get really well-rounded care from us, and really good quality care for us as well.”

Patients are able to schedule an appointment, and can generally meet with a provider within a week or two.

Even so, by 9:30 a.m. on Monday, the center’s small waiting room is packed with people seeking medical care.

“We have over 100 people come into our building throughout the week,” Mothkovich said. “We have a really small space, but we make the small space work, and we use every bit of the space that we have.”

The clinic serves well over 500 patients each year. The goal, Mothkovich said, is to provide temporary care until their patients can get stable and get back on a health insurance plan.

The clinic does have paid staff. The clinic is the beneficiary of the Dinner With Friends fundraising event held today. They provide on-site medical care, diabetes classes, a pharmacy, and nutritional help.

A common problem the clinic sees is patients who end up in the ER because they can’t afford insulin.

″...We do see that a lot, especially if they just lost their insurance. They’ll try to ration that thinking a little is better than nothing,” Mothkovich said.

This problem is especially common in younger, newer patients at the clinic.

“We see a lot of young kids who are aging out of medicaid,” Mothkovich said. “They have no warning. They literally turn 18 and they’re off. If they have juvenile diabetes they go from being completely stable to having no access to medical care. They’ll end up in the ER and the hospital will call us, and we’ll get them in and get them stable again.”

Thanks to the clinic, Mothkovich and her team are able to connect many people with the help they need.

The clinic accepts volunteers and donations of diabetes supplies, walkers, wheelchairs, and other medical supplies like bandages. To learn more, visit cmcaiken.com or call 803-226-0630.