Haywood County clinic for uninsured patients is closing, but services shift elsewhere


    A Haywood County clinic that provided health care to the uninsured or those with little means has closed. But the legacy of the Good Samaritan’s compassionate care will continue at nearby Blue Ridge Health. (Photo credit: WLOS)

    A Haywood County clinic that provided health care to the uninsured or those with little means has closed. But the legacy of the Good Samaritan’s compassionate care will continue at nearby Blue Ridge Health.

    The Good Samaritan operated around Waynesville for 20 years. But the nonprofit, operating on donations, couldn't keep up with the growing need.

    Thursday, it signed over its remaining funds of $295,000 to Blue Ridge Health, which says it will pick up Good Samaritan’s cause and expand it.

    “This is really the last official act of Good Samaritan clinic,” Good Samaritan’s Dave Riggs said.

    “Our mission is to provide quality health care that is affordable and accessible for all, regardless of the ability to pay,” Blue Ridge Health's Dr. Richard Hudspeth said. “We're going to have a pharmacy here. We’re going to get an ultrasound machine to care for pre-natal patients, expand our pediatric population and continue to expand providers."

    Hudspeth said the money will also fund a mobile dental bus Blue Ridge Health expects to have running this spring.

    “The legacy continues," Riggs said.

    The passing of the cause is seen as a win-win, even a third win with Lifespan that provides services to those with developmental disabilities expanding into Good Samaritan's empty building next door, some of it to be used for art therapy.

    “Through the art, our individuals have the opportunity to express themselves, to actually feel independent,” Lifespan director Helen Espinoza said.

    The bulk of the $295,000 check (about $225,000) will go toward opening a pharmacy at Blue Ridge Health.

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