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More than a clinic

Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 12:00 pm

From left, Yolanda Marable, Fredia Lusk, and Benita Caldwell. (Photo by Zoe Watkins)


At Tuesday’s monthly Rules and Legislative Committee, representatives from the Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford County (CCSBC) presented information about some of the clinic’s beneficial resources.

Since 2003, CCSBC, located at 200 Dover St. in Suite 202, has been serving the community by providing limited medical care for the low-income and uninsured.

Fredia Lusk, one of the presenters, has been executive director of CCSBC for eight years.

“We are just overwhelmed right now because we’re seeing so many people coming in on a daily basis seeking medical care,” she said during the meeting.

From July 2023 to January 2024, CCSBC has had 754 medical encounters, or visits. In the previous 2023 fiscal year, the clinic saw a total of 1,140 encounters.

Lusk explained often patients come to the clinic with undiagnosed conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Two patients last year had to have foot amputations due to severe diabetes, according to Lusk.

This is where they make referrals to Vanderbilt Hospital. Or, when Vanderbilt has a patient in the ER, they refer him or her to the clinic.

“So we have a great partnership with Vanderbilt Medical,” said Lusk.

In 2021, CCSBC also opened up a dental clinic. In 2023, they employed a dentist, who comes in Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The dental side is where we are exploding,” said Lusk. Since July of last year, the dental clinic had 566 patient visits.

“And we look to surpass 1,000 for FY24,” said Lusk.

“We are seeing a need for children to have dental care, so we are providing that free of charge,” she said.

At their first Dental Health Month last Tuesday, Lusk said they saw 15 children. “And those parents did not pay anything.”

Lusk added they are also taking in adults on TennCare and TennCare Dental.

But, “If someone comes to us, and they don’t have the money, we don’t deny them a service. We serve them all,” said Lusk.

Other services

CCSBC also provides free mammograms and pap smears, which is sponsored by St. Thomas Health and the Susan B. Komen Foundation. For male patients, they offer free men’s wellness examines. Lung cancer screenings are also available.

Since the school system requires students to provide physicals, the clinic has agreed to provide physicals for only $10.

“The health department has stopped doing school physicals — another barrier for a family for their child to be in school,” said Lusk. Physicals by local providers can be as high as $150 per child.

The Other Door

The clinic has also organized “The Other Door,” a program that utilizes the Connecting Forward grant from the Family and Children Services. Lusk said it’s a $1 million program done in partnership with the Healing Trust.

“We opened the Other Door through the Healing Trust foundation to extend our services to have a one-stop shop for the ones who need services, especially families and children,” said Lusk.

Yolanda Marable, a case manager for Bedford County, is part of Connecting Forward. She explained this program is a pilot program funded by the Family and Children Service, who received a three-year grant from The Department of Human Services.

“We have spent over $40,000 so far from January [2023] until December and we’ve served 93 children. And right now I have a total of 43 cases,” said Marable.

Clients have to meet certain requirements to be a part of the program. But if someone doesn’t, that’s where “The Other Door” comes in.

Benita Caldwell, from the Center for Family Development, said “The Other Door” was started in October of 2023.

“To date, we have assisted over 100 clients, 126 children, and we have been able to assist with over $90,000,” she said.

Caldwell said many of their clients had to miss work due to illness, inclement weather, or lack of affordable child care and therefore could not afford rent.

“Instead of being evicted, we were able to assist them with rent, utilities, some hotel stays…to get out of the weather,” Caldwell said. “We have provided some transportation cost for folks that needed a way to get to work, a few car repairs, food, gas cards.”

Funding and support

The clinic’s 2024 fundraising goal is $100,000.

“Medical care is expensive, but the dental care is more expensive,” said Lusk.

Platinum sponsors are $2,500; gold sponsors are $1,500; and silver sponsors are $1,000.

And with such a high volume of patients, Lusk pointed out the need for community support and volunteering.

“I guess my concern is, I have lived here all my life, and when I became the director about eight years ago, I sent out a letter asking for volunteers from this community, and I had no response,” said Lusk, adding that their medical director, dentist, and nurse practitioners are from outside the county.

“I wish that this community would be more supportive. But we are going to make it work.

“I feel as if this is our way of serving God because we are serving others,” said Lusk.

Visit for more information. Or call 931-684-6772 to schedule an appointment. Their hours are Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.