Capital Medical Center recently presented two Olympia non-profit organizations with charitable donations that allow each to offer needed medical care to the underserved in our community.

On Monday, April 16, CEO Mark Turner, CFO Jennifer Weldon and Board Chair Colleen Gillespie presented donation checks to representatives at the Olympia Union Gospel Mission and Olympia Free Clinic. Each check totaled $50,000, providing substantial assistance in improving the health of our community.

“Part of our mission is to provide quality healthcare to those in need in our community,” Gillespie said. “To be able to provide these donations is a huge blessing. We live here and want to contribute to a beautiful community where we live.

Capital’s Board of Trustees selected the two organizations because of their charitable efforts to provide needed healthcare in our community and, more specifically, to serve those most in need.

L to R: Colleen Gillespie, Mark Turner, Skip Steffen, Jennifer Weldon.

Olympia Union Gospel Mission (309 Washington St. NE)

Since 2003, the Mission’s dental clinic has been staffed by volunteer dental professionals who today serve more than 1,800 patients each year. The Mission also provides services to Thurston County residents living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level without dental insurance or alternate means to pay for care.

For those in need of vision care, qualified individuals receive an eye health exam and glasses and are provided care by volunteer professional optometrists.

Skip Steffen, Executive Director of Mission, says the Capital donation will provide no-fee vision and dental care for nearly 500 community members this year who otherwise would go without.

“We are very grateful as this donation will go a long way,” Steffen remarked. “We carefully screen our patients and provide care for those who can’t afford such care and treatment.

“It’s emotionally gratifying for us and patients for them to leave us pain-free. I’ve seen patients jump and cry with joy after putting on glasses that allow them to see clearly for the first time. We are very grateful,” Steffen said.

The Mission relies solely on the support of individuals, churches, and organizations such as Capital Medical Center to maintain their services.

(L to R) Colleen Gillespie, Michael Matlock, MD, Darlene Hein, Mark Turner, Amber Lewis (Clinic Board Vice-Chair), Capital CFO Jennifer Weldon.

Olympia Free Clinic (108 State Ave. NW)

For nearly a decade, the Olympia Free Clinic has provided medical care, specialty clinics and mental health services at no cost to adults who are under- or uninsured, ensuring that all community members have access to quality healthcare resources.

The Olympia Free Clinic serves as a community safety net on a limited budget, says Darlene Hein, Executive Director.

Individuals who look to the clinic for walk-in care range from the homeless and students without insurance to uninsured workers at poverty-level wages and under-insured individuals with very high deductibles or co-pay costs. Clinic volunteers are busiest on Monday evenings and Tuesday afternoons.

The clinic is well-known in our area as a safe haven to receive anything from a flu shot to serving as a “bridge” until an individual can acquire insurance or find a primary care doctor.

“This donation will make a really big difference in what we do,” Hein said. “We are very fortunate to receive such support. This provides such a boost to be able to provide our services, and allows us to continually provide medical attention to those most in need in our community. We are very thankful for this donation.”

More than 2,000 visits were made to the clinic in 2017.

“I commend the Union Gospel Mission and Olympia Free Clinic as they’ve been quiet giants who don’t seek recognition in taking care of low-income and underserved members of our community,” Gillespie said. “They do it because it’s God’s work.”