The Clay County Well-Child Clinic was established in 1983 to provide free preventative health care to children from low-income families. The clinic was initially funded by a 16-month non-renewable federal grant totaling $25,147 which was received by the Clay County Health Dept. The grant provided full funding until September of 1984 and partial funding until the next year. Since then the clinic has had to rely solely on funds raised locally.
The estimated budget for 2003 is $31,280 and the United Way of Clay County generally provides less than half of the clinic's annual budget leaving a balance of $16,700 to come from locally raised funds. Individuals, organizations and businesses will be approached for donations to the clinic. To raise the funds needed an auxiliary board has been formed to solicit sponsors for children attending the clinic which runs at $300 per child.
According to Paul Houston, M.D., the Clay County Well-Child Clinic runs over its expected caseload since it opened, serving over 2,400 children. During times of economic difficulties, such as is presently being found, it becomes even more crucial to stress the well-being of Clay County children and to see that their needs are being met. In 1986 the clinic received the Indiana State Board of Health's Gwendolyn B. Rossell Memorial Award for outstanding efforts in Maternal and Child Health Care.
The mission statement of the clinic is, "Working to improve Clay County's most valuable natural resource, its children." A statement that enforces the origins of the clinic, to give children from low-income families a fair start with early identification, education and referral for problems such as developmental delays, poor nutrition, lack of immunizations and vision and hearing problems. Secondly, to save tax dollars because a child who suffers the consequences of hearing, nutrition, vision, emotional and/or mental damage costs tax payers additional dollars. Finally, to get children to physicians earlier, before permanent damage occurs because early attention and intervention can help. Services provided include screenings which consist of history, measurements, hearing, vision, developmental delay and behavioral assessment, physicals, urinalysis, hemoglobins, tuberculin testing, immunization and some vitamins. The WCC also offers counseling and education pertaining to nutrition, health care, accident prevention, growth and development, infant stimulation and child abuse.
During the first 20 years of operation, the clinic has served over 2,400 children with a total number of clients at 8,790 and an average of 12 patients per clinic. Approximate annual income of the patients' families is $4,126 a year per member.
Clinic Coordinator Ann Miller says, "We are currently in our annual sponsor-a-child campaign and any donations will be greatly appreciated.
Clinics are scheduled on alternating Fridays from 10 a.m.- noon at the National Guard Armory in Brazil. Appointments are preferred but not necessary. Free transportation is available to all eligible clients.
Any donations can be sent to:
Clay County Well-Child Clinic
C/O National Guard Armory
972 West Craig Avenue
Brazil, IN 47834