Future Home of the River Valley Christian Clinic
A future move of River Valley Christian Clinic won’t change its mission of providing free health care and spiritual guidance to its patients. This mission to provide health care to those in the River Valley who can’t afford access to traditional health care has never changed since the non-profit opened its doors in 2007, said Dr. Jim Carter, medical director. Now, RVC Clinic will move across the river to eastern Russellville, the board of directors announced.
“We have an amazing, wonderful community,” said Becky Beavers, administrator. “I see this as a community, helping community. God has provided for us at every turn at just the right time.”
Fred Teague, director of Russ Bus, has a vision to house several non-profit agencies under one roof, Beavers explained. Agencies that help adults and children in crisis will be at the former Journey Church buildings at 3001 East H St., near Lowe’s Home Improvement. Russ Bus, a non-profit serving the homeless, purchased the facility and acreage as its program continues to grow.
RVC Clinic which provides medical, dental and optical health care is one of seven agencies with plans to locate at the Russ Bus facility. All the agencies will remain independent non-profit agencies and be raising funds for the move, explained Suzanne Yelverton, board member of the Christian clinic.
This offer came at the right time, Beavers said, as the clinic experienced a rental increase at 1714 State Highway 22 West. Previous owners allowed the non-profit to operate almost rent-free. It would be difficult for the non-profit to pay a normal rental fee long term, she said.
“I believe it’s God’s will to provide us with a facility that will be completely renovated to fit our needs with the same square footage,” said Carter, one of many volunteers at the clinic since its inception. “We also discovered that 70 percent of our patient population is from Pope County or north of the interstate. This puts us at a central location for our patients.”
Carter said the clinic’s board will be looking at covering the costs of renovations at the new facility instead of putting money into the present location to repair air conditioners and upgrade structural issues of the aging building.
Some funds for the move are available in the budget and a few recent donations were received, according to Yelverton. Plans are to move as much of the existing furniture and equipment as possible.
“Our main costs will be for flooring, paint, cabinet construction and sinks for each exam room,” Yelverton said. “We will apply for grants to cover some expenses, but we will continue to rely on the generosity of our community.”
The success and ability to stay in operation over the past years is a result of donations from local churches and their commitment of volunteers. Five churches provided the initial funding for the opening of the clinic, but so many more churches have joined in providing funds as well as individuals and some corporations. Grant monies are also a part of funding, Carter said.
“This is the way God intended it to be, local churches and community helping take care of their own people,” Carter said. “I’m 80 years old this year, and working at the clinic makes me feel like I am doing what God called me to do. It also makes me feel younger and gives me a desire to get out of bed each morning.”
The local physician is passionate about the clinic’s ability over the years to give many patients with diabetes hope. Carter, who has managed his own diabetes over the years, said some of the clinic’s patients were going to a local emergency room periodically just to keep from dying.
“We give them structure, medication and a diet plan,” Carter said. “We show them how they can not only survive but feel good and have a better life. It’s rewarding for me to see that happen for a patient as well as to see people listen and take our advice.”
Clinic hours will remain the same at the Dardanelle location with plans to continue the same hours at the new location. Yelverton said no date has been targeted for the move but expects it to be in early 2022.
“We want our patients to be aware of our upcoming move, where that location will be and to let the community know of our needs for donations,” she said.
Donations can be made on the portal of the RVC Clinic website at: rvchristianclinic.org. Clinic hours and information are also available on the website or by calling 479-229-2566 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
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RV Christian Clinic
3001 E. H Street, Suite A
Russellville, AR 72802
Call Us: (479) 567-5700
Fax: (479) 229-1021