The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 23, 2012

Joplin Community Clinic to celebrate medical lab opening with ceremony

A new medical lab at the Joplin Community Clinic will make it a lot easier for doctors to monitor his diabetes, Douglas Hull said Monday.

Before, when doctors at the clinic ordered blood work or other lab tests, he had to go to a hospital, said the Joplin man, who has been going to the clinic since he lost his insurance coverage in 2010.

“It was a whole second trip, and I would have a tendency to put it off,” Hull said. “And after they got the results, I’d have to go back in.”

Now, he can get his lab work done at the Community Clinic, Hull said as a technician finished drawing blood from him.

“This is going to help lots and lots of people,” he said.

The new lab equipment, which has been in use for about two weeks, will be the focus of ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. today at the clinic that will recognize Heart to Heart International, the Kansas City-based medical aid group that provided the equipment.

“Before, we had to send people to the hospitals for labs, and then they would have to come back when we got the results,” said Barbara Bilton, Community Clinic executive director. “Now, we can have them in 10 minutes, and the doctor can treat them while they’re here.”

Since its founding in 1993 to help area residents with limited access to health care, the clinic has relied on a partnership with local hospitals to do lab work for its patients. The May 22 tornado added more stress to the system, wiping out St. John’s Regional Medical Center and increasing the number of patients using the clinic.

But the tornado also brought help in the form of Heart to Heart International, which sent a mobile clinic to help with local health needs after the storm.

“We spent nearly a month and treated over 800 people with a variety of health needs,” said Scott Koertner, director of programs for the organization. “We got to know people at Access Family Care and the Community Clinic very well through resource sharing, and we’ve continued to work with them.”

As Heart to Heart ended its on-site presence in Joplin, officials asked the Community Clinic how they could continue to be of help, he said.

“When they told us they needed a lab, we got with Carla,” Koertner said, referring to Carla Orner, who heads medical laboratory programs for Heart to Heart.

The group earlier had set up a similar lab for a free clinic in Kansas City, Orner said.

“It’s a huge advantage because patients can get things done in one visit, rather than having to come back,” she said. “And if labs determine a problem with a diagnosis, sometimes it’s hard to track these patients down and get them back in.”

Bilton agreed: “Some of our patients are homeless and in shelters, and simply couldn’t get to a hospital. This is going to be such an improvement, and we never would have been able to afford it otherwise.”

Orner said the lab equipment costs about $22,000, and an additional $15,000 was invested in writing regulations, navigating state requirements and training clinic staff members.

Orner will continue to monitor the operation and provide the technical expertise until a local clinical laboratory scientist can be found. Heart to Heart also will pay for the cost of the analyses — which can be up to $70 per test — for at least two years.

Hull, who also attends diabetes education classes at the clinic, said he knows blood testing is an important part of his treatment. Being able to get the tests and see the doctor at the same time “makes it a whole lot better,” he said.

Increased demand

IN THE WAKE OF THE MAY 22 TORNADO, the number of patients being treated by the Joplin Community Clinic has increased by just more than 36 percent, to 10,500 from 7,700 patients.

Text Only
Local News
  • Cancer patient’s drug, probation cases postponed ‘until further notice’

    A Joplin woman who is battling a rare type of cancer has gotten a temporary reprieve in her drug and probation cases so she can focus on her health issues, according to her attorney. Velma Crain, who appeared Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court, was facing the possible revocation of her probation after having been arrested last year on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance.

    April 15, 2014

  • Suspect in assault on officer apprehended in Texas

    The U.S. Marshals Service caught up with a suspect in Texas who was wanted in an assault on a Seneca police officer and alleged probation violations in Arkansas. Cody A. Rantz, 25, is being held in Collin County north of Dallas on warrants issued in Missouri and Arkansas. Federal marshals reportedly located the fugitive at a strip mall in Texas on Monday afternoon and took him into custody.

    April 15, 2014

  • Ex-Jasper teacher’s aide accused of sexual contact with student

    A former teacher’s aide at Jasper High School has been charged with having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student and is being investigated for possible sexual contact with other boys at the school. Janice L. Rusk, 43, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy following investigations by school officials and law enforcement.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Open a beer, chat with Tom, see his exhibit

    I like to think that I would have gotten along with Thomas Hart Benton. Sure, I’ve read that sometimes Tom (I think I can call him Tom) could be grouchy, and if someone said something stupid or acted like a jerk, he didn’t mind telling that person exactly what he thought of him. But hey, I grew up with people like that.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho Ethics Board calls witnesses in complaint against council members

    City Manager Troy Royer on Monday night described what he said was an assault by City Councilman Steve Hart, and other incidents involving Hart and Councilman David Ruth. His statements were made to the Neosho Ethics Board, which is investigating a complaint filed against Hart and Ruth. Board members had described Royer as their key witness.

    April 15, 2014

  • r041514recycledfashion.jpg Joplin High School students to model ‘recycled’ dresses at fashion show

    Audrey Kaman will walk the runway later this week wearing a dress she designed herself — made out of 250 doilies. “I’d say it’s a fun dress,” the Joplin High School sophomore said. “It’s not really elegant because it’s short, but it’s cute.”

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • Shooter in Joplin murder sentenced to life in prison

    The teen convicted of being the triggerman in the murder of Jacob Wages was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole. At a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin, Circuit Judge Gayle Crane followed a jury’s recommendations in assessing Daniel D. Hartman, 18, two life sentences on convictions for second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and 15 years on a conviction for burglary.

    April 15, 2014

  • Interchange construction work near Carterville to create safer off-ramp

    As the Missouri Department of Transportation begins rebuilding eastbound ramps at the Missouri Highway 171 and Route HH interchange near Carterville this week, drivers can expect ramp and occasional lane closures. The $1.5 million project, funded by the state, will increase the distance between ramps for drivers traveling northbound on Highway 249 and exiting eastbound to Highway 171.

    April 15, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday approved a contract for construction of a new bridge on County Road 48.

    April 15, 2014

  • moon 2 Julie Mi…ell Kruege.jpg SLIDESHOW: Lunar Eclipse turns moon red Globe readers sent in their photos of the lunar eclipse which could be seen early Tuesday morning in the Joplin area.

    April 15, 2014

Must Read


In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

A. Yes.
N. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter