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Five patients lined up for care at Cove House’s free medical clinic which opened Tuesday night in the Lovett Ledger Medical Plaza at 806 E. Avenue D in Copperas Cove.
The clinic offers acute and chronic care, which proved to be a draw for Killeen residents whose free clinic does not offer treatment for chronic health issues.
The Cove free clinic is open Tuesday and Thursday evenings, with sign-in for care from 5 to 6 p.m. as compared to the Killeen Free Clinic which is open three days a week. Killeen patients at the Cove clinic outnumbered Cove patients 4-1 on Tuesday.
Lisa White of Gatesville works as the secretary for the Killeen Free Clinic and came to the Cove Free Clinic to volunteer Tuesday night. She told Killeen patients in the Cove lobby that Killeen would be offering chronic care by early next year.
“We are hoping to be able to do the same thing in January. But, until then, we are sending patients to Cove,” White said.
Shaddeus Strege was one of the Killeen residents who could not get chronic care in Killeen and drove to Cove to get his prescriptions refilled at no charge.
“I am on three different medications, two for high blood pressure and one for my thyroid,” Strege said. My last prescription was given for six months and I can’t wait any longer to get it refilled because I am almost out (of medication).”
Strege estimated the cost of refilling the prescriptions under $20 if he was paying out-of-pocket.
Luis Mulero of Copperas Cove also came to the Cove Free Clinic for high blood pressure medicine.
“I met with the doctor. They are nice people and they treated me good,” Mulero said. “I would definitely come back again.”
Metroplex Hospital donated the 2,000-square-foot clinic space to Cove House and provided medical equipment and supplies as well as volunteer staff.
The clinic was well-staffed with volunteers Tuesday, including Richard Calkins, a nurse practitioner at a Cove family medicine clinic.
“I’m big on mission stuff and hope to one day do full-time mission work,” Calkins said. “This will be a great support for low and no income individuals. It’s amazing how many people do not have (health) insurance.”
According to Cove House, 25.8 percent of people in Coryell County and 27.3 percent of people in Lampasas County are uninsured.