GLASGOW — Sixteen years ago, Dr. Bharat Mody, a general surgeon, along with other Glasgow physicians, community leaders, T.J. Samson Community Hospital and a few more, developed Community Medical Care Inc. — a charity to help provide healthcare for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.
CMC, a non-profit organization, relies on help from volunteers and donations from the community, to remain operable.
On Thursday, Mody and the CMC board of directors recognized those who have either volunteered their time or who have made a donation by presenting them with an award during a Business After Hours event sponsored by the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce.
Bill Prather, president of the chamber of commerce, spoke during the event and called CMC “a worthy cause.” He pointed out that the front of the program for the event says it all. It said: “Community at Its Best, Taking Care of Its Own.”
“Our country is going through a big challenge in many ways now. One of them is in health care (and) how we should best provide that to our citizens,” he said. “We know we have the finest health care in the world, but it’s also very expensive.”
The challenge the country is faced with is how to make “health care equally available to everyone.”
Prather continued that he is certain government leaders will arrive at a solution that will work.
“But here in Glasgow, we are filling those gaps and doing those things … you volunteers and donors are making it possible,” he said.
In the beginning, CMC helped working, uninsured Barren County residents get the healthcare they needed.
“We don’t use it at this moment, but when we used to use that program, we were supported by so many in the community. Our hospital was part of it. Our family practice center was part of it. Many of the specialists were part of it. All of our uninsured patients (got) everything they needed free of charge,” Mody said.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, CMC suspended the portion of its program that helped working, uninsured Barren County residents.
“Right now, the health care delivery system is still in big turmoil. We all know that. We just can’t make out what is going to happen tomorrow or next week in the health care industry,” he said.
Until government leaders figure it all out, Mody said CMC will keep doing what it’s been doing and that is taking care of those who are still struggling and who are left behind.
Bill Hiltner, 56, of Park City, shared how CMC was able to help him after he was trampled by a cow while working at the stockyard in Glasgow.
“The organization helped me through it all,” he said.
Hiltner couldn’t afford insurance because there was a $5,000 deductible, but he couldn’t afford not to have it either.
“I had a choice. I could either stop my job and go on welfare and get everything handed to me, (or he could remain employed and try to find a way to pay for health care),” he said.
Hiltner said he has always taught his children to pay their own way.
“They all have good jobs and make their own way, so I chose to stay working,” he said. “This organization — you all don’t know what that does for people like me. T.J. Samson has been absolutely wonderful to me. The McPeak Vision Center, everybody they sent me to treated me like I had a $1 million. I want to say ‘thank you.’ It does work. It’s a great program.”
The current focus of CMC is helping low-income seniors with prescription medication.
The charity also offers a hearing aid program, and at one time it had a dental program but had to suspend it due to a lack of funding.
Due to donations made to CMC by Nell Houchens and Wayne and Pat Gaunce, Mody said there is some thought about restarting the dental program.
“Anytime we see ourselves a little down, somebody else steps up and brings us up also,” Mody said. “I think that’s what happened this year. We are going to continue doing what we have been doing for 16 years. We are going to help our seniors. We are going to continue our hearing aid program and hopefully, we can at least to some extent start a dental program for many of the patients.”
Tribute was also paid to the one volunteer who has gone above and beyond in helping CMC.
“Many of our seniors don’t have enough money so they can’t afford good hearing aids,” Mody said. “Through this volunteer, with her help, we provided hearing aids to lots of seniors.”
Becky Hensley with Hensley Hearing Aid Center in Glasgow was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
“We have, over the past few years, worked with Community Medical Care to actually give hearing aids to those who are less fortunate,” she said.
Hensley announced she has sold her hearing aid practice and is in the process of merging with another company.
“I am still going to work a little bit, but I have decided to semi-retire after 36 years,” she said.
In the past, Hensley has only been able to provide two hearing aids to one person per month.
“With the new company I’m going to be with, we can now service four people,” she said. “That’s going to be wonderful.”
Hensley has served on CMC’s board of directors in the past and said she loves what the organization does for the community.
Mody also recognized the organization’s professional volunteers, which include T.J. Regional Health, dentists, optometrists, pharmacies and the Family Medicine Center.
A complete list of those recognized during the event for their contributions to CMC can be found at www.glasgowdailytimes.com.
Community Medical Care Contributors
Golden Globe — $50,000 to $75,000
City of Glasgow and Barren County Fiscal Court
Ambassadors — $25,000 to $50,000
American Materials, Betty Bailey and the late David Bailey, B.R. Retreading, Edmonton State Bank, Larry Glass and the late Geraldine Glass, Larry and Charlotte Glass and Dale and Mavis Smith
Supporter — $500 to $2,000
Bobby and Vivian Hurt, Bernard and Audrey Laabs, Owen and Kim Lambert, Vicki Pennycuff on behalf of Merry Oaks Methodist Church in honor of Gina Lyon, Gary Oliver, Southern States, The Peoples Bank and Ben Tomblinson
Partner — $2001 to $5,000
John and Cheryl Ambach, Barren County Business Supply, Barren River Plaza Project, Tommy and Tish Gumm, Robert and Marie McCann, Oliver Williams and Co., Dean and Jannell Pedigo, Spanning the Ages, Glenview Christian Church, R.P., Melanie and Victoria Watson
Donor — $5,001 to $10,000
Alliance Corporation, Joy Chaney, William and Nancy Gravely, Hilliard Lyons and Salvation Army
Patron — $10,000 to $25,000
Dr. Jerry Gibbs, Glasgow Prescription Center, Medical Arts Pharmacy and South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative
Ambassador — $25,000 to $50,000
Drs. Bharat and Bharati Mody and T.J. Samson Regional Health
Centennial — $100,000 or more
Wayne and Pat Gaunce
Centennial Plus Golden — $150,000 or more
Nell Houchens and the late Ruel Houchens
CMC Memorials ($150 or more)
Barbara Motley, Barlow Ropp, Bernice Brown, Bill and Gayle Myers, Bill Waldrop, Billy Reagan, Dr. John Marsh, Franchelle Richardson, Kenneth Calvert, L. Rogers Wells Jr., Lewis Williams, Lyndell Smith, Mike Holland, Mike Swift, Patricia Thornbury, Rebecca Forrest, Rickey W. Meredith, Robert Richardson, Ron Thomas, Roy Froedge, William “Billy” Poore and Winston Nunn.
CMC filling gaps on health care in county | News