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Joplin's Community Clinic has opportunity to "heal" after torna - KOAM TV 7

Joplin's Community Clinic has opportunity to "heal" after tornado

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Joplin, MO -

Five years after the Joplin tornado, Joplin's Community Clinic has an opportunity to "heal" from all the wear and tear it got after that tragedy.

Joplin's city council tonight will discuss giving some grant money to the community clinic.  The organization serves homeless and low-income people who can't afford health insurance.

Nurse Betty Adams works in the patient intake, or triage area, of Joplin's Community Clinic.

She says there's no privacy in that area.

Adams jokes, "They (patients) whisper just a little bit.  They talk lower.  I have a good hearing aid, thank goodness!"

There's no partition or wall separating Adams from where another nurse and patient would sit right beside her.

"We see a traffic volume of about 40 to 60 patients a day," says Renee White, Executive Director of the Community Clinic.

Clinic workers say there's a lot of personal patient information up for open years.  Open eyes see scuffed-up floors and worn-off paint on walls.

"Looks are very important.  It just tells how it's clean," says Adams.

About 50 percent of clinic workers are volunteers, and the clinic itself operates off donations.  That's why a $175,000 grant from the city will help putting in some new walls, brushing coats of paint on the walls, and installing new floors throughout the clinic.

The federally-funded grant is earmarked for recovery after Joplin's tornado.

"Basically, they were helping with the overflow with the triage that was going on after the tornado," says Patty Heagel, CDBG Coordinator with the City of Joplin.

The clinic saw 13-hundred more patients because of the Joplin tornado, and that makes the clinic eligible for this grant.  There was a lot of wear and tear in the clinic because of the tornado.

But now, five years later, there can be some healing.

"It really is a high honor that they're giving not just my staff, not just the volunteers, but also the patients who walk through our doors, that they deserve a quality place to come," says White.

Click here to learn more of Joplin's CDBG project list.

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