Smiles all around: 

Mission Medical Clinic has mortgage, plans for dental clinic

click to enlarge From left: Mission Medical team members Joy Baldwin, - Sara Pucci and Dr. Mark Albers are helping lead the clinic - into a new era. - 2007 JON KELLEY
  • 2007 Jon Kelley
  • From left: Mission Medical team members Joy Baldwin, Sara Pucci and Dr. Mark Albers are helping lead the clinic into a new era.

When she talked last summer about buying the building where she and dozens of volunteers regularly see "miracles," Marcella Ruch was confident the Lord would provide.

Six months later, with contract in hand, the director of Mission Medical Clinic says it happened with some help from the city of Colorado Springs.

Late last month, Memorial Hospital agreed to sell the building at 2125 E. La Salle St. to Christian Healing Network, which operates the clinic. Of the $940,000 price, $340,000 of it came in the form of a public-service credit from the city.

"The city believed that was important enough community service to help us buy this building and become owner, so we never have to move," Ruch says.

It's a huge victory for the city's uninsured, hundreds of whom had come to the donated space for free visits and prescriptions. (See "Mission of mercy," csindy.com/csindy/2006-08-24/cover.html.)

While the mortgage is due in full within three years, Ruch says she hopes to have it paid by the end of 2007. All but $190,000 is accounted for already; a Coors Foundation challenge grant stipulates that if Mission Medical can raise $150,000 by December, it will provide the final $40,000.

Meanwhile, with the help of another grant, Mission Medical is renovating 8,000 square feet of previously unavailable space into a dental clinic for its patients. According to Ruch, when that clinic opens later this year, it will provide the first free dental care this city has seen in a quarter-century.

"Volunteers came in and ripped out carpeting, painted every room, laid every bit of new flooring," she says. "That's all a gift from the Lord, too, you see. Another one of our miracles."

Mission Medical Clinic 2125 E. La Salle St.

Open second and fourth Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; every Thursday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.; and first, third and fifth Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 219-3402 for eligibility information and appointments, or visit missionmedicalclinic.org for more information.

The clinic also is accepting financial and in-kind donations; call 227-0434.


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