In 2003, local churches and community members joined together after they saw a great need for affordable healthcare in Gwinnett County. By 2004, Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett was incorporated and a board of directors was formed. The charity clinic affectionately known as Good Sam Gwinnett began serving poor and uninsured patients in the summer of 2005.
What once began as a small health clinic has now transformed into a large facility offering general dentistry, pediatric care, primary care, counseling, health education classes, and a dispensary offering pharmacy assistance. Good Sam Gwinnett found that patients were more likely to fill their prescriptions if there was a pharmacy on-site. By offering a variety of medical services and education opportunities they are filling the healthcare gap for thousands of uninsured individuals in the Gwinnett community. As a result, fewer individuals in Gwinnett will go to an emergency room for non-emergent services. These medical services are affordable and accessible for the patients because of the hundreds of medical professionals and students who donate their time and services to the organization. Without the annual 400+ volunteers, the staff of 30 would not be able to deliver nearly 2,500 appointments each month. Each appointment price varies from $25-$75 depending on the service. These fees are substantially less than appointment fees at a private doctor for a patient who is uninsured.
Good Sam Gwinnett does not only envision itself as a low-cost health provider. The organization also focuses on education for both patients and volunteers. In 2016, more than 500 people attended health education and disease management classes. The staff believes attendance to these classes, along with Christian counseling, will promote lasting lifestyle change for patients. Good Sam Gwinnett believes volunteers should not be there just to give, but to learn. The organization offers internships and volunteer opportunities for high school students, college students, and medical students interested in primary care and general dentistry. Also, local doctors and nurses donate their time to see patients. Not all volunteers are in the medical field. Some volunteers come specifically to counsel and interpret on behalf of patients. The volunteers are afforded the opportunity to gain life science experience and explore the medical field. Good Sam Gwinnett also mentors student volunteers during their internship.
In 2016 alone, Good Sam Gwinnett had 17,500 patient encounters providing an estimated value of $5.2 million in healthcare services. The 50/50 partnership between donors and patient contributions to the cost of healthcare has made it possible for uninsured patients to seek the medical care they need. Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett is a client of Pro Bono Partnership. Thanks to our lawyer volunteers partnering with PBPA, Good Samaritan was able to save thousands of dollars in possible legal fees. In recent years Good Sam has worked with volunteer attorneys Jared Brandman, SoRelle Brown, Dan, Warren, Frank Landgraff, Maria Todorova, Alla Raykin, Eric Santos, Shayna Bowen, Lanchi Bombalier, and Maria Riviera-Diaz.
“Thanks to the generosity of Pro Bono Partnership Atlanta and its volunteer attorneys, we have rested well on a firm legal foundation for many years. We have consistently received excellent legal services on matters of healthcare and employment law, as well as other valuable guidance on important issues that had slipped our attention. We have been treated exceptionally well at every turn; we never felt as if we were of a lesser importance because of our pro bono status. We are very grateful for the support we’ve received and thankful for your commitment to the nonprofit community of metropolitan Atlanta.” Greg Lang, Executive Director of Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett