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Free health services provided to dozens of food service workers in Fayette County

PEACHTREE CITY — Healing Bridge Clinic located in Peachtree City, Ga., partnered with the Giving Kitchen for a Pop-Up Doc event on Monday, April 11, 2022, that provided free health services to dozens of food service workers from Fayette, Coweta and surrounding counties. The clinic also provided two dozen free Uber rides to get workers to and from the clinic.

“This is the third time we’ve partnered with the Giving Kitchen for a Pop-Up Doc event but those earlier events, while successful, took place in the Atlanta area. The beauty of today’s event at our clinic in Fayette is that we saw our community rally behind us,” said Mike Conaway, executive director of the Healing Bridge Clinic. “Restaurant owners came by to offer their support, to offer meals at future events, and this just opened up a lot of doors beyond the incredible care for our patients we gave today.”

The event provided free medical consultations, a pregnancy mobile unit for pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, and a podiatrist. The podiatrist offered evaluations to food service workers since they often suffer from foot issues due to standing for long periods of time. Patients were also given information on Giving Health, which provides free year-long telehealth solutions for people who lack access to affordable healthcare.

“We see that about 75% of our clients in food service do not have health insurance,” said Leah Melnick, senior director of client services at Giving Kitchen. “Most restaurant owners do not and cannot provide insurance coverage for their workers. When you have a smaller staff, insurance costs are higher and profit margins are really low. It’s not always possible to provide that.”

The Pop-Up Doc event aimed at providing both preventative care as well as diagnostic care.

“We had a potentially life-saving moment when one of our providers saw a diabetic who ran out of medication a few months ago,” Conaway said. “We were able to get their medication refilled to get them back on the track to better health. It was a great day from that standpoint.”

“Our hope with a partnership like this is that we can encourage long-term, preventative care and find ways that will keep them from running into these crises,” said Melnick. “We always say at Giving Kitchen that our goal is to be put out of business. Unfortunately, we don’t think that will happen.”

Four healthcare providers took time off from their practices to volunteer at the event. Other volunteers came out in force, including several who helped set up and break down the event from A Better Way Ministries. Palmer’s Restaurant in Peachtree City provided a free lunch for volunteers and clinicians.

Healing Bridge Clinic and the Giving Kitchen are now planning their next Pop-Up Doc event for Fall of 2022.

By Michael Cuneo

Michael Cuneo is a news and sports reporter for the Fayette County News. Michael graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Journalism in 2020. In his off time, Michael enjoys torturing himself as an Atlanta Falcons fan. Follow Michael on twitter @michaelcune