Health clinic hosts open house to talk about free services

NILES — A free health clinic in Niles that will serve those without health insurance celebrated a grand opening last week and encouraged the local community to get involved.

HERBIE Health Clinic hosted an open house Friday night at the clinic, located inside Wesley United Methodist Church, 302 Cedar St. Those who attended were invited to tour the facility, enjoy snacks and listen to a presentation on how the clinic got its start. 

HERBIE Health Clinic is open on the second Saturday of the month and is run entirely by volunteers. Patients can receive routine medical care, medications and some labs run on site. A pharmacy, as well as emotional health and counselors are on site.

Dr. Sherry O’Donnell, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, addressed the crowd of about 50 people in attendance. She shared how the ministry-influenced clinic first began serving people who needed care in Benton Harbor. In an earlier interview, O’Donnell said she decided to move the clinic from Benton Harbor to Niles because she felt it was an underserved area. She emphasized the importance for volunteers to spread the message about the services that the clinic can offer. Before moving to Niles, she said the clinic was serving 100 to 120 patients.

“Right now, in Niles, I think we are still the best kept secret,” O’Donnell said.

Moving an entire medical clinic to a new city was not the easiest thing to do, O’Donnell lamented. She said volunteers dealt with some hiccups in the moving process, including a moving van that did not show up when ordered and some complications with electrical inspection.

“We moved in June. We are here,” O’Donnell said. “It is time to let the community know.”

While spreading the message about the services the clinic can offer is important, O’Donnell also encouraged people to get involved in volunteering. She said the operation cannot succeed without volunteers and she commended those who helped with the clinic’s transformation in Niles. Thanks to their efforts, a vacant room in the church was transformed into the doctor’s office, complete with five exam rooms and a pharmacy.

The hard work paid off, she said.

“You will see, it is an absolutely gorgeous facility,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell operates her own practice, Rappha Medical Center in St. Joseph. She said she was inspired to open the clinic with practice administrator Sandi Lemley in honor of missionary Herb Atkinson. Lemley has since moved away from the area and O’Donnell has continued to operate the nonprofit.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to get in touch with the clinic by visiting their Facebook page or by contacting O’Donnell at (269) 408-1777. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. They are needed to assist as physicians, nurses, physical therapists, greeters, clinic guides and to help patients with registration.

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community

Berrien County

MDHHS extends epidemic order, strengthens mask requirement for children

Buchanan

Buchanan District Library awarded American Library Association grant

Dowagiac

SMC Board of Trustees prepares for Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation visit

Cass County

Cass County votes to engage Kalamazoo studio for Cass County Historic Courthouse services

Berrien County

Buchanan graduate now Berrien County prosecuting attorney

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs Office welcomes new leadership

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce hosting monthly giveaways

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 770,822 cases, 16,731 deaths

Dowagiac

No danger found following lockdown at DUHS

News

Berrien County Public Defender’s Office to increase staff

Berrien County

Buchanan man named 911 Telecommunicator of the Year

Dowagiac

Dowagiac man arrested for possession of meth

Education

Niles teacher accused of assault pleads not guilty

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: April 7-13

Berrien County

LMC to host virtual career, program expo for prospective students

Dowagiac

Dowagiac woman to compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ 2021 Tournament of Champions

Business

Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon-tying ceremonies for two new businesses

Dowagiac

Four arrested in Dowagiac drug search

Berrien County

Niles city, DART consider south county expansion