Our View: Cooperation keeps free clinic open

Sometimes the unexpected forces the community to band together.

Thankfully, in the case of Rapha Ministries’ temporary relocation, the help came willingly.

As the hole in the middle of North Main Street continued to grow with the scope of a storm sewer repair, Rapha Ministries became more concerned about the safety of their location.

City officials closed North Main Street in front of the Winchester Municipal Utilities office in late March after discovering a storm sewer line had collapsed and eroded the soil underneath the street. Last week, the Winchester Board of Commissioners approved an expanded contract to replace another antiquated storm sewer pipe found under the collapsed one.

As work on a collapsed sewer line continued at their front door, the free health care clinic was forced to close during its last three office hours.

Last week, the  clinic’s board voted to relocate temporarily within Grace Bible Church, a former elementary school about a block away from Rapha’s office on North Main Street.

Grace Bible and pastor Lee Cruse were early supporters and contributors to the ministry, and have continued that support by allowing the ministries to use space at the church during its time of need.

Rapha was open for its regular Monday hours this week and things went well, and the ministry will remain at the church while work is completed on North Main, which could take about three more weeks.

Rapha Ministries offers primary health care, pharmaceutical, laboratory and radiology services to adults and children, who are uninsured, do not receive governmental medical assistance and/or have no financial resources to afford medical care.

These are vital services offered to some of the uninsured or underinsured individuals in our community.

Quality medical care for all our citizens is an important step to making our community healthier. A healthier population has tremendous benefits on many other factors in our community like the workforce, economy, quality of life and more.

As the Rapha continues to offer these benefits to our community, it is great to see others step up to help in a time of need.

It’s an extension of generosity we can all learn from. It takes cooperation to make the community the best it can be.