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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Nurse practitioner Sandra Shanahan has moved her weekly clinic to the basement of the Salvation Army. She had provided medical services from the basement of Mount Olive African Methodist Episcopal Church and, before that, Allen Apartments.
But this latest move will bring her to a permanent location from which to reach her uninsured, largely Spanish-speaking clientele – if she can inform them about her new address.
“Not too many people have found us yet,” said Shanahan, who used to mail postcards with her address to her patients. “It’s such a transient population and so many people moved, we decided (the postcards are) not a financially smart thing to do anymore. This time, we put out lots and lots of fliers all over town.”
Her facility is one of three in Annapolis that provide medical services to the uninsured. Anne Arundel Medical Center’s clinic at the Stanton Community Center provides low-cost dental and medical services to uninsured adults, while the hospital’s Community Health Center on Forest Drive provides similar services to the underinsured — people who don’t have strong insurance coverage.
Shanahan’s clinic goes back to 2005. She worked out of the community center at Allen Apartments and spent one day a week providing physicals and other medical services to people 19 and younger.
In the summer of 2009, Allen Apartments’ managing company told her she would have to leave, Shanahan said. So she moved into a basement room at Mount Olive.
Every Tuesday, Shanahan and her volunteer interpreter provided services that came with a suggested donation of $35 per family. She depended on grants, fundraisers and donations.
Mount Olive, however, was just a temporary solution; the church also used the clinic’s room, so Shanahan had to pack up and leave after each session.
When she learned about the Salvation Army’s upcoming expansion at its Hilltop Lane facility and that it would have more space, she contacted it about using a basement room at 351 Hilltop Lane.
She moved in on June 1.
Shanahan has placed a sign with her new address on Forest Drive. She also is planning to have a banner put up near the building. So far, the only problem has been that the telephone in the room doesn’t work yet. She has had to order new wiring and has been relying on cellphone service.
Since the move, the clinic has seen two to three clients per session. The county school system and Department of Health also distribute pamphlets with the clinic’s new address.
“I’m very appreciative that (Mount Olive) let me come there … but I just kind of always figured that was temporary,” Shanahan said. At the new address, “we’ll be more visible and still be in the neighborhood that we need to be in.”
Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md.,
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)