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Gunn returns to thank CMC supporters

Posted: November 2, 2017 5:10 p.m.
Updated: November 3, 2017 1:00 a.m.
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Anton Gunn, healthcare consultant and former State Representative of S.C. House District 79 makes his keynote address to supporters of the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County during the KEY Reception at the National Steeplechase Museum.

A young boy in Allendale County was two grades behind in school.

“Everyone thought it was an education problem,” Anton Gunn, healthcare consultant and former State Representative of House District 79 said during his keynote address recently at  the National Steeplechase Museum. 

“But it wasn’t an education problem,” he said. “As it turns out, this boy hadn’t been to a dentist in three years. His parents didn’t have health insurance. He had an abscessed tooth. He couldn’t concentrate on his school work because he was in so much pain.” 

Gunn went on to say not having access to healthcare was the root cause of the boy’s troubles in school. 

Gunn’s keynote address was part of the KEY Reception hosted by the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County (CMC). The reception was held to honor all volunteers and supporters of CMC. 

Unlike Allendale, Kershaw County is home to one of three School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) run by a free clinic in the country. The Community Medical Clinic operates an SBHC at North Central High School. It functions similar to a minute clinic on the school campus. The school nurse can refer students to the SBHC where they will see the Nurse Practitioner, who diagnoses and treats common illnesses, cares for minor wounds, and writes prescriptions. The SBHC also provides sports physicals and refers the students to their primary care provider for follow-ups. 

In addition to the SBHC, the clinic also has satellite offices in Bethune, Kershaw, Cassatt, Lugoff and Elgin to help patients have better access to care.

“The KEY Reception was all about saying thank you to our wonderful volunteers and donors who make our mission possible,” Susan Witkowski, Community Medical Clinic CEO said. “We couldn’t achieve our goals without their help and support.” 

The theme of the event was “Be the key, unlock a healthier community.” 

“It’s events like these that make service fun,” Molly Nettles, CMC volunteer said. “There was definitely a sense of community and Anton was a great speaker.”

Gunn closed his keynote saying three elements were important to building a strong community: service, empowerment, and legacy. 

“That’s why it’s important to support this organization. It’s not just about what we’re doing right now. It’s about how what we’re doing right now can make the lives of others better tomorrow.” 

CMC is embarking on their 20th year as a charitable family practice medical clinic. It was founded on the mission of providing medical care to the uninsured residents of Kershaw County. CMC has grown from seeing several patients a week in one room to having a fully staffed medical facility as well as mobile clinics. Today, CMC has expanded its mission and is leading a collaborative effort to empower individuals to take charge of their own health and well-being.

Community support of CMC has allowed the organization to provide medical care for our neighbors who are underserved or uninsured. Today CMC plays an increasingly broad role as the leader of a collaborative effort to improve population health throughout the county. The clinic itself serves as the medical home to 800 county residents, resulting in about 3,600 patient visits annually. 

To create a legacy for Kershaw County, contribute to CMC’s mission by visiting cmcofkc.org/key

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