The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Mission of Mercy Texas Mobile Medical Care Program

Grant Information
Categories Healthcare
Location South Texas
Cycle Year 2010
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Mission of Mercy
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Patty Clark
Phone 361-883-5500
P.O. Box 8341
Corpus Christi
Additional Information
Used for We will provide 3,500 free physician visits and 4,200 free prescription medications to the uninsured and under-insured working poor. We will provide 96 mobile clinics at sites in Bishop, Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Orange Grove, and Robstown while serving as the only free primary care mobile clinic in a 3,650-square-mile South Texas service area. We will address the special healthcare needs of minorities, women, children, the elderly, and South Texans suffering from chronic health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Benefits Grant funds will help Mission of Mercy fulfill its mission of restoring dignity to all people by being an instrument of “healing through Love,” and by the reciprocal sharing of God’s mercy with those we serve. By promptly treating patients with acute and chronic conditions, Mission of Mercy prevents treatable illnesses from progressing to conditions that are more serious, allowing patients to return to jobs or school, cutting back on absences that often lead to lower earnings and escalating economic hardship, thereby strengthening families, the community, and the world at large. Through our consistent care, we have and will continue to keep our patients out of local hospital emergency rooms, reducing overcrowding caused by non emergency patients and saving the community millions of dollars in unreimbursed emergency room expenses.
Proposal Description Mission of Mercy, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides free medical care to the uninsured and under-insured working poor, is seeking a $20,000 grant from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation to support outreach efforts to care for South Texas patients who lack health insurance, do not qualify for public assistance, and cannot afford the high cost of healthcare. These low- and middle-income residents rely on the Mission of Mercy Texas Mobile Medical Care Program for their only source of non-emergency care. Without our help, these South Texas residents would go without care until their conditions reach emergency status, making treatment more difficult and more expensive.
Mission of Mercy is a mobile clinic, providing care to under-served populations in Bishop, Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Orange Grove, and Robstown. We partner with four South Texas churches and one community center to provide care from a 37-foot recreational vehicle equipped with three exam areas and a 225 generic formulary on-board pharmacy. While healthcare reform legislation promises to provide care to many Americans beginning in 2014, Mission of Mercy is providing care to our South Texas patients who need help now. Without our help, some may not survive until 2014 and others will suffer needlessly.
Your financial gift, along with others, will be enhanced with in-kind donations and pro bono medical services to provide primary medical care through 3,500 free physician visits and 4,200 free prescription medications in 2011. By helping us continue our mission, you also will provide access to an extensive network of specialists who donate their services free of charge to our patients.
Based on the findings of healthcare research, a $20,000 grant from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation will result in healthcare savings of $164,640 to the South Texas community. (For more information on this, see the section entitled “Enhanced Healthcare Purchasing Power”). Our mission is accomplished at low cost because we are a mobile clinic and utilize a team of volunteer healthcare, administrative, and hospitality workers. We are the only free primary care mobile clinic in our five-county service region.

History & Mission:
Founded in 1994, Mission of Mercy is an independent, 501(c)(3), nonsectarian, community-based organization that seeks to restore dignity to the uninsured and under-insured working poor by providing free basic healthcare and free prescription medications. We seek to restore dignity to our patients by being an instrument of "healing through Love," and by the reciprocal sharing of God’s mercy with those we serve. Nationally, we provide services in Texas, Arizona, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. All funds received from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation will be spent on providing care to South Texas residents.
Mission of Mercy does not charge for its services and does not accept government funding, a policy that enables our patients to receive care without having to “prove their poverty,” restoring dignity to a process that often is lacking. Funding for all Mission of Mercy services is derived from private donations, including individuals, community groups, churches, businesses, and charitable foundations.
Mission of Mercy started in South Texas after The Most Reverend Edmond Carmody, Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, (now retired) saw the tremendous need for healthcare and invited Mission of Mercy to start a program here. His successor, The Most Reverend Michael Mulvey, continues to embrace our ministry. Donations from three South Texas charitable foundations and others funded start-up costs, and on September 17, 2007, we began delivering free medical care to the medically under-served. Between our first clinic day and June 30, 2010, the Mission of Mercy Texas Mobile Medical Care Program has provided 6,989 free physician visits and 8,455 free prescription medications.

Description of Existing Services:
Mission of Mercy provides free prescription medications and free medical care for acute and chronic conditions. We accomplish this through professional and lay volunteers, who donate their time and skills. We also have an extensive network of medical specialists, hospital and private laboratories, and radiologists who donate their services. Mission of Mercy’s program has four components:
Clinic Operation: Mission of Mercy Texas Mobile Medical Care Program provides mobile clinics at four churches and one community center in South Texas. At each location, facilities are used for patient registration, patient waiting, and meetings with nurses. Patients are seen by physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners on our mobile clinic, which has three exam areas and a pharmacy. Clinics are set up like a primary care physician’s office except that no billing office is required. After registration, patients meet with nurses for evaluation. Nurses, who can perform 13 tests from our onsite laboratory, screen patients for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases.
More than 50% of Mission of Mercy patients suffer from chronic illnesses, including arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and depression. Twenty-one percent of patient visits are coded as diabetes related. Our patients depend on Mission of Mercy for ongoing treatment and prescription medications. Patients return for regularly scheduled appointments, allowing physicians to monitor their condition and provide medicine. Patients who require specialty care are referred to doctors in the community who provide free services to patients.
Prescription Medications: Our mobile clinic serves as both a doctor’s office and a pharmacy. Patients receive free prescription medications dispensed by a registered nurse under the license of our medical director. Mission of Mercy’s formulary contains more than 225 medications. On average, each patient leaves with 1.1 prescriptions per visit. To preserve our resources and empower patients in their own care, we provide patients with free medications until their condition is stabilized and, whenever possible, write prescriptions for follow-up medications from reduced-cost programs. A vast majority of patients want to contribute to meeting the cost of their care. We also enroll patients in no-cost, prescription medication programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
Clinic Volunteers: Thanks to our volunteer-based, physician-centered model of service, Mission of Mercy is able to treat large numbers of patients in a dignified and comprehensive manner with a small paid staff. All volunteer medical professionals have an active license and are either already insured or covered through Mission of Mercy’s medical malpractice policy. They volunteer because it allows them to practice what they deem to be “pure medicine.” Mission of Mercy’s physician volunteers often sign up to work at the same clinic each month, allowing for development of a strong doctor/patient relationship. In addition to doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurses, other volunteers include interpreters, registration workers, hospitality workers, drivers, and data entry personnel. Currently, 128 lay and professional volunteers donate time and services to Mission of Mercy patients.
Donated and In-Kind Services: Mission of Mercy would not be able to provide no-cost medical care without collaboration from a wide range of community partners. These include four churches, one community center, an array of medical specialists, hospital and private laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies. Storage space for our mobile unit, medications, and supplies also is donated. We anticipate receiving $264,206 in donated goods and in-kind services in 2011, comprising 32% of our $824,311 operating budget.

How We Are Different:
Mission of Mercy differs from other free clinics in the following ways:
• We do not serve the same population as other free clinics. Other clinics serve people who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. We focus on helping people who work and make too much money to qualify for public assistance. Unfortunately, many of these people cannot get health insurance and cannot afford to pay for healthcare and prescription medications on their own. These are the people who are “falling through the cracks” in the healthcare system.
• We are a mobile clinic. We treat patients at five mobile clinic sites that are close to where our patients live and are located on bus routes. This means less time away from home and work and reduced traveling costs. It also allows us to provide low-cost care with low overhead.
• We do not apply for and will not accept government funding of any kind. Our model of service does not force people to fill out forms to prove their poverty, allowing this medically vulnerable population to retain their dignity. We become their primary care physician and empower them to make changes in their lives.

Population that will benefit:
Anyone who requests medical care at one of our five mobile clinic sites receives it. Most patients live in Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff (a low-income neighborhood in Corpus Christi) and the rural communities of Robstown, Bishop, and Orange Grove. We also have patients who come to us from other South Texas communities and rural areas.
Mission of Mercy has served 1,830 individual patients in South Texas since its inception. In order to meet the growing demand for our services, Mission of Mercy needs support from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation and others. Our medically underserved patient population breaks down by race as follows: 74% Hispanic, 20% Caucasian, 4% African-American, 1.8% Asian-American, and 0.2% classified as “other.” In areas we serve the poverty level is above the state average of 16.3% and the national average of 13%. The majority of our patients are women (59%), children (3%), and the elderly (4%). About 50% of patients suffer from chronic healthcare issues such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, and 20% are classified as having diabetes.

Personal Stories

The Sweet Spirit
Santos is like many Mission of Mercy patients. He’s humble and grateful despite the fact that life hasn’t always been good to him. Santos, a sweet-spirited man in his 40s, lost both parents to heart disease at an early age, and he knew that without medical care a similar fate awaited him.
Although employed with the same company for many years, Santos worked for a business that could not afford to provide health insurance, and working at an hourly rate barely above minimum wage left him without the means to pay for his healthcare. Because he was employed, he did not qualify for public assistance from other medical clinics, so, like many working people without health insurance, Santos went without treatment until his symptoms could no longer be ignored.
In 2007, Santos, who had recently begun experiencing chest pains, arrived at one of our five mobile clinic sites and asked to see a doctor. Our medical director, Dr. Coleen Madigan, diagnosed a heart attack, began treatment, and sent him to a local hospital for follow-up.
A week later, Santos showed up at another clinic site to say “thank you for saving my life.” It turns out that emergency room doctors, who had been alerted by Dr. Madigan, examined him upon arrival at the hospital and quickly performed surgery to place two life-saving stints in his heart.
Santos is now a regular – and grateful - Mission of Mercy patient. He recently started his own cleaning business, and, despite the long hours, is happy. He’s happy because he’s alive, feels good, and for the first time in his life looks to the future with optimism.
The Good Husband
On one of our first clinic days, Ray called to make an appointment to see a physician. Unfortunately, all our appointments had been filled, but he was told to come in case a slot opened up. Fortunately, our staff managed to find time to see him and discovered his blood pressure and blood sugar were at dangerous levels.
Although employed as a maintenance worker for many years, Ray could not afford to pay for health insurance premiums to cover both him and his wife, forcing him to choose which one to cover. Since his wife suffered from a chronic health condition, he decided to provide health insurance for her.
Without healthcare, however, Ramon was at risk for a stroke or heart attack, and if he were to die or be incapacitated and unable to work, his wife would then be without health insurance and unable to afford the care she needed. Mission of Mercy provided him with free prescription medications needed to control his high blood pressure and blood sugar.
Ray continues to see our medical providers on a regular basis and his future – and that of his wife – is much more secure.
The Grandmother
Sarah, a grandmother in her 50s, showed up at one of our clinics in a wheelchair. Suffering from diabetes and unable to afford treatment, Sarah developed a condition that made it painful to walk. With her mobility limited, Sarah could no longer baby-sit her grandchildren, forcing her children to hire a babysitter or miss work.
Our medical director, Dr. Coleen Madigan, stepped down from the mobile clinic to treat Sarah, who was not able to climb the three steps to board the clinic. Dr. Madigan immediately began to treat her diabetes and leg pain.
A few months later, Sarah proudly climbed onto the mobile clinic without assistance to show Dr. Madigan her improvement. She is now pain free, baby-sits for her children, and even plays soccer - using a walker – with her grandchildren in her backyard.
The Mennonite Farmer
A Mennonite family living near our Bishop clinic arrived one day seeking help for a young man in his twenties. The young man had been experiencing shortness of breath and was so tired he was unable to do chores or play with his brothers. Although an immensely private people, they felt safe coming to Mission of Mercy because we treat people locally and require a minimum of personal information.
Our medical director examined him and diagnosed the problem as a defective heart valve. She referred the young man to a local heart specialist who has agreed to provide his services to our patients at no charge. The surgeon, widely regarded as one of the best heart surgeons in the country, performed heart valve replacement surgery at no charge. According to the surgeon, without surgery the young man would not have lived more than two or three years. Although the hospital where the surgery was performed did not donate its services, the young man now has a lifetime to pay it off.

Goals and Objectives:

Our goals and objectives for 2011 are to:
1. respond to the unmet medical needs of the sick, working poor, and uninsured in underserved communities by providing primary healthcare at no cost;
2. maximize access to free primary healthcare, patient education, and prescription medications at our clinics, resulting in the restoration of dignity, improved health, and self-sufficiency among our patients;
3. address the special healthcare needs of women, children, and the elderly. While we treat all groups, the majority of our patients are women (59%), children (3%), and the elderly (4%);
4. address the special healthcare needs of the 50% of patients suffering from chronic healthcare issues such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension by providing ongoing medical care to prevent more severe morbidities;
5. address the special unmet needs of minority populations, which comprise 80% of our patient load;
6. operate 96 clinic days;
7. provide a minimum of 3,500 free physician visits;
8. dispense a minimum of 4,200 free prescription medications;
9. reduce the use of emergency rooms among new patients;
10. maintain the reduced level of emergency room usage among existing patients.
Timetable for accomplishment:
The Mission of Mercy Texas Mobile Medical Care Program will provide treatment to the following patient populations (many patients fall into two or three categories) through stated clinic days, physician visits and free prescription medications:

Q1 2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Total
Women/Children/Elderly* 528 560 593 629 2,310
Chronic Condition Patient* 400 424 450 476 1,751
Minorities* 640 678 719 762 2,799
Clinic Days 24 24 24 24 96
Physician Visits 800 848 899 953 3,500
Free Prescription Meds 960 1,017 1,078 1,145 4,200

We hope the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation will support efforts by the Mission of Mercy Texas Mobile Medical Care Program to provide much-needed healthcare to people who are currently not covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid and cannot afford to pay for healthcare on their own.
Your $20,000 donation will help Mission of Mercy provide 3,500 free physician visits and 4,200 free prescription medications in 2011. Your donation will save the community $164,640 in healthcare costs and restore dignity to our patients by helping us provide “healing through Love.”