The relocation of a Bloomington health clinic means more assistance for impoverished patients. A new Volunteers in Medicine clinic near Bloomington Hospital opened its doors Monday, offering some services the clinic’s previous location could not. Executive Director Elizabeth Sturgeon said 21,000 Owen and Monroe county residents now have access to mental care, health and wellness screenings, dental care and eye exams, all in more spacious surroundings.
Sturgeon said she expects the new location will receive more patients, in part because of its convenience to public transportation.
“This is a great location for our clients in that it’s close to the downtown area. The downtown number one bus has its route that comes right in front of the building, so they can stop here. And a number of our patients do utilize the bus services. It’s also easy to find because it’s right by the hospital.”
The clinic is open to area residents whose yearly income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which the government sets at $21,200 for a family of four.
“[If] people come into the emergency department who do not have health insurance, they are referred to us as a place where they can potentially get healthcare,” said Sturgeon. “So being so close, it helps bring those patients over here so we can help them. We also work very hard to be available for walk-in patients so that non-acute issues can be seen here, rather than using the emergency room for those non-acute issues.”