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Mercer Charitable Clinic Opens


Last week’s opening of the new Mercer Charitable Clinic is exceptional news for area residents in need of medical care but lacking health insurance.

Mercer Charitable Clinic is now operating at the St. Luke’s Professional Building in Bluefield, near the Behavioral Health Pavilion of the Virginias. The new free clinic is the successor to the former Mercer County Health Right. The clinic will serve people who do not have any type of health insurance and meet the general guidelines for poverty.

Mercer Health Right was forced to close its doors on Feb. 23 after problems with improperly filed paperwork for items such as business and charitable organization licensing were discovered. The closure — although brief — created a serious medical care void for the region’s indigent.

The doors to the new Mercer Charitable Clinic will now be open each week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The new clinic will also offer the same services as Mercer Health Right, according to Jeff Graham, CEO of Beckley Health Right, Inc.

“It will be just as before,” Graham said last week. “We’re working on continuing the partnerships with both local hospitals, Princeton Community (Hospital) and Bluefield (Regional Medical Center.) And through those partnerships, we hope to maintain services as before.”

The new clinic is located at the former Mercer Health Right offices at the St. Luke’s building. Many of the previous employees of the former Mercer Health Right have returned and are now employees of the new Mercer Charitable Clinic.

Free clinics statewide receive funding, and in order to keep a free clinic in Mercer County, the state Department of Health and Human Resources has agreed to channel the money that was earmarked for Mercer County through Beckley Health Right, Inc. so that organization can operate Mercer Charitable Clinic, according to Graham.

The closure of Mercer Health Right last month created great concern in the community, particularly among those low-income families who depended upon the free clinic.

We applaud Beckley Health Right, Inc. for stepping up and helping to fill the void in Mercer County. The opening of the new Mercer Charitable Clinic is a true blessing to low-income families across the region.

Access to health care services is as essential as food and water. Denying this critical resource just because it is too expensive would be a tragedy for many of the people who depended on Mercer Health Right. The new Mercer Charitable Clinic will now fill this void and help ensure the happiness and health of people in need.