Improve Tech for Free Health and Dental Clinic

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Oasis of Hope Center
City & State:
Grand Rapids, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Our vision is a community where self-worth is restored by having basic health needs addressed in a caring environment.Our mission is to provide hope through low cost/free medical care and basic life-skills education to the economically disadvantaged and uninsured of the west-side of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in Jesus’ name.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Oasis of Hope Center envisions a community where self-worth is restored by having basic health needs addressed in a caring environment. Our mission is to provide hope through low-cost/free medical care and basic life-skills education. We opened our doors in the Spring of 2007 with our Executive Director, Barbara Grinwis, PAC and our Medical Director Dr. Jeff Libra, MD along with other volunteers filling positions such as medical assistant or receptionist. Our services include urgent care, minor emergency care, wellness exams, chronic disease management, cancer screening, assistance to patients for receipt of low-cost or free medication, immunizations, health education, basic life-skills education, and others, all at no cost to the uninsured. Our clientele have income less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines and have no health insurance. We are able to meet with them, diagnose medical issues and send them home with solutions and a plan to increase their overall health.Once the dream became a reality, we began to see the impact that we were beginning to have in our neighborhood. We were surrounded by neighbors who were not receiving needed health care due to their financial situation and our changing economic times. We are now able to offer them the hope of enhanced quality of life through the exercise of sound medical practice and treatment procedure, offered in a spirit of care and compassion, and supported by the use of established and emerging technology that enables us to provide them with the necessary forms and information they need to receive assistance, improve their health, enhance their basic life-skills, and generally begin to take greater ownership of their lives; we are able to touch their lives in places many clinics do not have the time or the resources to reach. In our first calendar year of operation we saw 400 patients. Our first TechSoup donation helped us to achieve minimum standards necessary to ensure that our patients were getting the care they needed. During that year were able, with the help of that donation of software from Microsoft, to begin building a basic I.T. infrastructure that facilitated launching our mission. We knew that our network was stable, though basic, and committed to a longer-term program of further enhancement that would achieve higher levels of excellence, speed, efficiency and expanding capabilities. However, our immediate focus was on our program services, primarily the medical we had committed to provide, especially finding better ways to ensure that we could continue to provide treatment and medications for free. Today, we are able to count over 3,000 patient visits and we are working to transform our system to enable electronic health records, databases for resources for our clientele, education information, a data base to facilitate management of over 60 active volunteers. We need to enhance our original system with additional hardware and software in order to support this growing opportunity. Currently, we are actively seeing patients one full day and two half days per week, in addition to administrative support services being performed during and between those times. We are compelled by increased traffic to consider a further expansion of those hours, as well as adding additional services, dental services in particular, as well as more education space. We currently have two standard desktop systems available to staff for servicing client needs, and this is proving to be sadly deficient.With our current technology, we have been able to expand our patient database and medical charting to embrace our new online system, enabling us to track client demographics, medication needs, applications for assistance for patients, communication with volunteers, and our financial bookkeeping. We need to triple the number of available terminals, preferably with more portable notebook units, in order to provide our staff with greater ability to offer the necessary health and education services to our clientele. Further, it is essential that we are able to build a more solid foundation to support continuing growth and expansion of service; the new dental clinic alone will require technology support above and beyond that currently needed to support the medical side of our mission. We clearly need to integrate increased technology and update computer systems. Additionally, our current system has allowed us to make minimal inroads into fundraising and marketing. We are able to track and report finances, demographics, survey and other information that is useful in these areas allowing us to have greater impact on our neighbors and our community. We are beginning to enjoy a fairly stable position technologically and eagerly anticipate that benefits that we’ll experience with a further expansion of our capabilities both in terms of greater services available to our clientele, a strong foundation for growth, and hopefully launching our new entry into provision of dental health with the necessary technology to contribute to success in that endeavor and to facilitate a greater community impact. Our experience thus far has clearly demonstrated the extent to which technology can facilitate the achievement of our mission. We are convinced that expansion in our use of available tools will enhance and support that achievement to an even greater degree, further contributing to the lasting effect that Oasis of Hope Center is having on the neighborhood in which we serve. We are surrounded by lives that are changed by the services they receive here. Our clientele, our volunteer staff and all of our supporters are challenged, by contact with this vision, to expand the ways that they can give to others and impact their community. We hope, through enhanced technology, to further expand our ability to communicate with our community in order to generate increased interest in our mission, raise awareness of the availability of our services and provide greater opportunity for the community to provide resources to support this mission. We hope that Microsoft too will see Oasis of Hope Center, in the heart of the Westside of Grand Rapids, as a opportune investment, especially one that meets Microsoft’s agenda of supporting entities that are truly impacting their communities in a positive way. In these tough economic times, health care is taking a great hit among the increasing number of uninsured neighbors across the nation, and definitely here in Michigan. It is our intention to continue to relieve those who have recently lost jobs or insurance to have one less thing to worry about. For more information about our mission, please visit our website at .

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery