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Free Morehead health clinic shuts doors after almost 20 years


The doors have closed on a Morehead healthcare institution that has supported the region for the last 19 years. Officials said the People’s Clinic Foundation of Morehead began as a way for patients who were not insured or underinsured to see doctors and receive medical treatment.

Keith Kappes, Board Chair of the Peoples Clinic Foundation of Morehead, said the clinic’s closure is bittersweet.

“To put it as simply as I can, we’ve essentially run out of patients and providers. With the improvements in the healthcare landscape, the Affordable Care Act, expanded Medicaid, there’s several things that contributed to that. Plus, physicians and technicians and nurses and others who were volunteers for us, if there’s nobody to volunteer their time to help, then you’re going to go someplace else,” said Kappes.

Kappes said with these healthcare improvements, places like the People’s Clinic Foundation of Morehead are less necessary and that while they worked hard for many years to provide locals with free health services, progress is inevitable.

“It was a tough call to make, we are proud of what we’ve done over the almost 20 years, but things change. A couple of years ago, we didn’t have any urgent care centers in this community, and now we have three or four, that sort of thing. St. Claire’s mission has expanded and of course, they’ve been our godsend all along, they’ve now of course agreed to fill the gap that we filled for a long time, in terms of dealing with uninsured, underinsured people,” said Kappes.

Kappes said the clinic used to consistently see 100 to 150 patients per month, but recently that number has fallen to around 12 per month. As a result of decreasing need, he said the organization decided to disband, and allow funds to go to other places that have more patient activity and need.