Editorial: Free clinic a good solution to a health care problem

Sometimes the best solution to a problem is in your back yard.

So it is with the Alpena Free Clinic, which has been addressing the health needs of the community now for five years.

With all the debate over the Affordable Health Care Act, Obamacare, or whatever you want to call it – to view a health care program at work that addresses the needs of everyone, the Alpena Free Clinic is it.

Started by Rev. Steve Hammond in 2008, the clinic has provided medical care to over 2,200 patients since its doors first opened. Open two days each week, the clinic handles a wide assortment of cases. Today 10 doctors, four physician’s assistants and 16 nurses volunteer their services at the clinic. A number of other volunteers handle other functions there as well.

Hammond, who also is a physician assistant, might be viewed as a holistic renaissance man. By day he addresses the spiritual needs of his congregation, while at night he meets the physical needs of the community.

As the rest of the country struggles with making health care accessible to all, in Alpena the seeds of the eventual solution were sown years ago.