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Community health center holds listening session on healthcare

good-sam2    “It’s a complete circle of care,” says Chris Stancliff of his experience with the Good Samaritan Clinic in Jasper. Stancliff with cane, is surrounded by the health center employees, volunteers and board members.
    Patients and staff of the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center presented a “listening session” Thursday at their clinic on Samaritan Drive, showcasing the work of the community health center to local, state and federal officials and community members.

    Most moving were the stories from three patients, all crediting Good Sam with saving their lives and restoring them as productive members of their families and communities.
    Chris Stancliff, a 33-year-old patient at the clinic for the past year and a half, said they had saved his life more times than he could count by both the treatment they had given his physical ailments and helping him address mental issues. He praised the Good Sam personnel as the best anywhere.
    Stancliff said he is impressed by the continuity of the care and the way the whole staff works together to provide a complete service. “The receptionist knows my name and who I am there to see,” he said.
    “It’s a complete circle of care,” he said. Stancliff said the staff takes the time to sit down and talk with their patients. “This is a place full of advocates,” he said. “Advocates for your life ahead.”
    Other patients echoed the sentiment that if the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center was not in Jasper,  they or their family members wouldn’t be either – as they would have died long ago.
    Patricia Queen said Good Sam had been critical in her life and the lives of her two adult sons. When her youngest son was injured, he lost his job “and losing your job means losing your insurance,” Queen said. The son is now totally disabled, with numerous surgeries in the past year.
    “He lost everything he had and lost everything he had been working for since he was 18,” she said.
    Speaking of the clinic, she said, “they become your family.”
    “I don’t know what me and my two sons would have done, [without Good Sam],” Queen said.   
    Another patient, Deb Portwood presented Executive Director Carole Maddux with a painting of “the ladder of hope” for the hope they had inspired in her.
    With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Diabetes, if she had not come to Good Sam she would have died.
    Not only did the staff teach her how to handle her diabetes, they “sat and worked through some issues.”
    She showed a picture of her son, a high school student, to make the point that their services help not only the patients but the families of all those they treat.
    “They put me back as a productive member of society,” she said.
    John Trammell, President of Community Bank of Pickens County, and a longtime supporter of  the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center said the clinic has proven itself essential to the town.
    Executive Director Maddux said the listening session gives the clinic a chance to show real health care needs and options from a place “where rubber meets the road.”
    Maddux said she is inspired by stories of the doctors from the past century who served Pickens when it was a rural Appalachian area, like the Roper brothers, (two well known doctors here).
    The doctors were instrumental in seeing to the health of the community, driving around in trucks to visit patients at home.
    “But you can be sure the doctors didn’t do it alone,” she said as neighbors and the community pitched in. Though healthcare is much more complicated now, at Good Sam they still aspire to that model of everyone involved helping the community.
    The community health center serves 3,400 total clients a year providing a wide range of health, dental, vision and mental services. Find out more about the clinic at