The St. James The Less Free Clinic mission is to offer a faith-based healing ministry to our qualified Hanover neighbors by providing free medical and dental health care with compasion, dignity and respect.
PO Box 117
Ashland VA 23005
Saint James the Less Free Clinic
The Saint James the Less Free Clinic was started in late October of 2006 in the basement of St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Ashland, Va.
Over the years previous to opening our clinic, some of our parishioners and our Sr. High youth group had been helping out a free clinic not too far from Ashland in Aylett, VA. As a matter of fact, our parishioner Dr. Tom Hubbard became the medical director there. This clinic was started by St. David’s Church in Aylett, VA, which is a church of 40 members – that’s right FORTY folks! However, 8 of them are nurses and they saw a significant need for free healthcare in their community so they got their tiny little clinic going and are doing some very big things in King William County.
Tom Hubbard spent quite a bit of time at this clinic. And he kept thinking, “if this tiny little church can do this (and by the way, they also have an FDA food cupboard and a trailer for donated clothing) then why couldn’t our much larger, wealthier church do this?” So he started sharing his thoughts at St. James the Less and got enthusiastic support for his vision. After nine months of hard work and to our great surprise, we birthed a clinic!
The clinic is open on Wednesday nights from 6-9 pm and provides free medical and dental services and prevention education to Hanoverians who are uninsured and meet certain income requirements. Hanover County Social services estimated in 2006 that over 8,000 folks were eligible for our services, so we have a lot of work to do. Within a few months of opening we had a long waiting list for dental services.
Our story is in its opening chapters and we would love you to help us continue to write it in ways that we have yet to envision. Just as we have supported the St. David’s Free Clinic, and continue to do so, we would love to have the support of the Ashland/Hanover Community. We see this as one big chain of folks who are committed to making our world more like the kingdom that God envisions for us.
Every set of dentures we provides makes it easier for that patient to get a job and feel better about smiling! Our access to pharmaceutical programs helps us provide free life-saving pharmaceuticals to folks who could never begin to afford them. It is amazing to me how many folks live with significant dental pain due to the fact that professional dental care is financially out of reach for them. One patient told us that her children wanted her to smile more but she was embarrassed because of the condition of her teeth. Another patient told us that after having some teeth extracted at our clinic, she has been without pain for the first time in years.
I think one of our biggest surprises is how much the clinic is doing for those of us who are providing the services. Some of our teens and seniors have learned how to provide dental assistance which may involve developing x-rays, mixing fillings and providing suction during procedures. One of our teens has enjoyed dental assisting so much that he has added “dentist” to his list of possible careers. It’s pretty special to see a young man in his last semester of high school helping at a free clinic on a weeknight. And it’s pretty wonderful that, aside from helping patients, we are also helping to develop young people in our community through this experience.
So how can you be involved? First and foremost, if you are in need of our services, please call us at 798-8890 to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, one of our greatest needs right now is for more professional help – if you are a doctor, dentist or hygienist we would love you to talk to us about volunteering, perhaps just once per month or less. If you are not a professional, we would be thrilled if you would talk to your doctor, dentist or hygienist about the possibility of volunteering.
We are also looking for folks who would like to provide food for about 20 volunteers on a Wednesday evening. A number of our volunteers come straight from full-time jobs to work at the clinic and this is their dinner. Please call the clinic at 798-8890 and leave a message to learn about non-professional volunteering opportunities.
And we are looking for folks who are interested in helping us raise money, whether it be a church donation or pledge, an individual donation or pledge or ideas and help with putting together fundraisers. Please contact Lee Chambers, our Board President at 798-6647 if you are need information about this.
Otherwise, pop your head in some Wednesday night and see how your clinic is doing! We are located in the lower level of St James The Less Episcopal Church on the corner of Beverly Road and Lee Avenue in Ashland.
Our mission statement is as follows:
“To offer a faith-based healing ministry to our qualified Hanover neighbors by providing free medical and dental healthcare with compassion, dignity and respect.”
St. James the Less Free Clinic • P.O. Box 117 • Ashland, VA. 23005 • 804.798.8890