02.25.19

Grantee Spotlight: St. Benedict Health and Healing Ministry

For more than 13 years, St. Benedict Health and Healing Ministry – a grantee of your Community Foundation – has provided free medical services to people in Boulder County who have limited or no connection to the healthcare delivery system.

 
According to the ministry’s website – while the uninsured population in Boulder County has been trending in a positive direction in recent years – approximately 8% of our local population is getting by sans health insurance. In response, the ministry – which is affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, but is non-denominational in responding to our community’s needs – provides a range of services at its free clinics, from low-level triage (assessment and care planning) to heart health and blood pressure screenings and education; diabetes screenings and education; men’s and women’s health screenings; advocacy and referrals to primary care providers and local community clinics; connections to Dental Aid and dental health screenings; access to HIV testing and counseling; access to mammography; foot care, and more. 
 
“Our grant from the Community Foundation helps enable this work, helping us cover the costs of medicine, medical supplies, and medical equipment that we continuously need to make available to and for our patients,” says Bill Goodwin, Executive Director of the ministry since July 2018. 
 
“We believe in the power of partnerships to connect people to the resources they need to heal and be healthy,” adds Bill. Indeed, the ministry partners and collaborates with several local nonprofits, also including other foundation grantees, e.g., the Sister Carmen Community Center.
 
The volunteer-driven organization turned in some 2,448 hours in 2018. Among the 44 volunteers who donated their time, 21 healthcare professionals provided 1,115 free services in 605 patient visits. St. Benedict Health and Healing Ministry volunteers also distribute over-the-counter medicine and personal care items to patients experiencing homelessness, and helps patients pay for certain medical expenses.
 
Says Lisa (not her real name), a former patient of the ministry, “I was homeless for many years, and I would always seek out this ministry. The people were beautiful and they gave with love.
 
“Everything they had was so valuable. We had nothing, not even the basics – bandages, aspirin, vitamins, toiletries. They also extended help with my teeth, and I was able to get my teeth done … I am so grateful to have my teeth in my mouth.  
 
“The people who gave me a ride were volunteers, as well … and they were absolutely amazing.  The time that I had with them was cherished and valuable.”
 
The ministry is always seeking volunteer licensed medical professionals for its free clinics, as well as administrative support staff (clinics or office); committee members to help with fundraising, volunteer management, event planning, and marketing; Spanish interpreters and translators; and over-the-counter medicine distributors at homeless shelters.
 
Currently, volunteer health care professionals offer free clinics weekly in the following locations:
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street, Boulder
  • First Congregational Church, 1128 Pine Street, Boulder
  • Sister Carmen Community Center’s Food Bank, 655 Aspen Ridge Drive, Lafayette
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, 2200 Broadway, Boulder
  • OUR Center, 220 Collyer Street, Longmont