We sat down with Ori Lara, Executive Director of Greater Texoma Health Clinic to dig a little deeper into what the clinic does and how their services impact the community.
ARELI: Why was the Greater Texoma Health Clinic established, and what is the main mission?
ORI: Greater Texoma Health Clinic was founded in 2002 as a 100% volunteer, non-profit organization. Volunteers helped those in the community who were unable to provide for their own medical needs. Our county resident’s healthcare needs were being unmet. With few local options, if any, residents were seeking medical help in hospital emergency rooms.
Chronic disease management and patient education for all were the clinic’s top priorities. Our Mission … “ To provide low cost, comprehensive health and wellness services to the residents of the Texoma community, regardless of their ability to pay.”
ARELI: What impact has your clinic had on the community?
ORI: GTHC has shown a tremendous growth during the past 18 years. Patient visits increased from 335 in 2003 to 6,052 in 2020. Left untreated, minor health issues may escalate quickly into major problems.
By helping our patients address these health issues at an early stage we are able to minimize the long term effects of untreated health conditions. Our goal is to empower our patients with the tools and resources they need to live longer, healthier, more productive lives.
ARELI: In what ways would you like to see the clinic grow?
ORI: Our goal is to continue to reach as many community members in need of a medical home. For many going to a healthcare professional is either out of reach or unwanted do to a bad experience.
We want anyone seen by our compassionate providers to feel understood and overtime develop trust in our team. Additional we will continue to provide services at a reduced rate.
ARELI: What are some of the things you’re most proud of about the clinic?
ORI: Many patients go without taking their medications as prescribed because they forget or they rather do without the side effects of the medications however for others the reason is much deeper. The cost of medication and lack of insurance can make it impossible for a patient to obtain the medications needed for their specific health issue.
That is why our patient assistance program is one of my favorites. An established patient will have assistance in obtaining medications available through pharmaceutical companies at no cost of the medication to the patient or the clinic.
In 2020, over $450,000 worth of medications were dispensed to eligible patients!
On average a patient will receive at least $350 worth of medications in one shipment. For many the medications being obtained are what is keeping them alive.
ARELI: Are you accepting new patients and do you accept any type of insurance?
ORI: Our doors are always open to new and established patients. While we are here to serve the uninsured and underinsured in some cases we are able to accept patients with private health insurance who may have very high deductibles. Though the vast majority of our patients are from Grayson County we do not turn anyone away due to their zip code.
For those patients who are uninsured services may be offered at a reduced rate by applying for our sliding fee scale.
Co-payments at our facility not only cover the office visit with one of our caring healthcare providers but also cover the cost of labs ordered through our partner laboratory.
ARELI: What are some of the clinic’s immediate needs?
ORI: Our Electronical Medical Records system is only as fast as our computers can be. This system allows our providers to document, treat, prescribe and communicate with our patients.
The cost of replacing our older systems is excessive therefore we have held off on commencing the process.
ARELI: What else would you like the community to know about the clinic?
ORI: Our services offered at our facility are:
Primary care services, including chronic disease monitoring, lab test, ekg & pulmonary function testing
Primary care pediatric services
Gastroenterology services, including Hepatitis-C treatment and management
Women's health services, including well-woman exams, colposcopy, and referrals to free mammograms and Women Rock services
Prescription Assistance Program
ABOUT ORI LARA
Ori Lara is the Executive Director of Greater Texoma Health Clinic.
As a lifelong resident of Grayson County it is of utmost importance to her to see her own community benefit from the many great services offered at GTHC. The Mission and Vision of GTHC aligns directly with Ori’s beliefs; ALL members of her community deserve quality, accessible and companionate healthcare.
The Greater Texoma Health Clinic is a private, non-profit Texas corporation originally recognized as a 501(c)3 by the IRS in July 2003 under the name 'Grayson Volunteer Health Clinic' and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. GTHC operates on grants, donations, fundraisers and copayments collected from patient fees and Medicare/Medicaid insurance. We are not federally, state or county funded. We are surrounded by great people giving unselfishly of their talents and professional skills. For this we are eternally grateful. Through our generous donors both individuals and foundations we are able to continue to provide quality, cost- effective, compassionate healthcare.
Our Vision: To ensure a healthcare system that provides quality, Cost-Effective, Accessible and Comprehensive Healthcare to all the citizens of the Texoma Community.