2013 was an exciting year filled with new opportunities and challenges. The year began with a move to a renovated facility across the street from Mercy’s previous building that would triple the amount of space available. It took a team of volunteers working around the clock to ensure that Mercy did not miss a single clinic. On MLK weekend, as medical beds were being brought into the ten new medical rooms, dental clinic was already taking place. By March, Mercy was ready to host its Open House attended by more than 100 members of the community.
Now, 12 months later, Mercy has increased its number of patient visits by 14%! The number of new patients that are accepted each week has also sustained a 33% increase. The number of dental visits has seen the largest jump – an increase of 37.6%. While it is exciting to expand access to care by increasing the number of annual visits, Mercy is thrilled to see important quality benchmarks being met. Currently, patients with complicated treatment plans can be scheduled with a continuity volunteer provider. Two physicians from the UGA/GRU medical partnership have graciously volunteered their time at Mercy weekly and several other providers have committed to bi-weekly clinics.
More than 700 volunteers are to thank for these amazing accomplishments. In 2013, more than 21,291 hours of volunteer service, a value of $786,622, was donated in Mercy’s building. In private offices, more than $860,000 of procedures, surgeries, and physical therapy was donated. These numbers are incredible when compared to Mercy’s expenses of less than $500,000.
With 2014 already here, the bar is set high. It is energizing to look back and remember the milestones of 2013 – like patients losing a combined 250 pounds in Mercy’s wellness program, the construction of a nutrition teaching kitchen, a successful collaboration with Advantage Behavioral Health Systems that provided patients with improved access to mental health, and the hosting of GRU’s first class of 4th year medical students in a service learning environment. While this coming year will continue to reveal the uncertainties of our changing healthcare environment, Mercy will not waiver in its commitment to caring for those in need. We are fueled by a heavenly calling to share God’s hope through the medium of healthcare.