Aimee Henderson, pharmacy director and board member at the Weatherford Agape Clinic, has a heart for meeting the medical needs of those in the community.
In fact, she was helping others long before moving to Weatherford in 2011 and joining the Agape staff.
“I started a free clinic in Tuttle before I left, so I always had an interest in helping the underserved population in my community,” Henderson said. “When I started working at SWOSU, I met Dr. Steven Pray, who was the current pharmacy director at Agape, so I got involved through him.”
The Agape Medical Clinic is a nonprofit medical clinic and pharmacy which has been serving the Western Oklahoma area since 1998. Funds donated are used to pay for the clinic’s medications, operating expenses and supplies. Staffing is on a completely volunteer basis.
Henderson has been working at the clinic for the last 5 years and filled Dr. Pray’s position after he retired.
“Typically what I do on a clinic night is refilling current prescriptions and filling new prescriptions for patients seen at the clinic as well as council them about the medications,” she said. “I also am responsible for ordering the medications and keeping up with the electronic health records.”
She also oversees some of the general lab tests which happen at the clinic about every 6 months.
In addition to pharmacy, the clinic also provides nursing triage, medical provider wellness appointments and optometry services by Dr. Myra Frantz.
“It’s important to offer these services because not everyone has access to healthcare, so we are providing access to those who don’t have insurance or can’t afford it,” Henderson said.
She said the clinic allows the community to be happier and healthier. In addition, it takes the burden off of the emergency room and urgent care staff. Henderson said the free eye care is especially important because most insurance doesn’t cover it.
“I had a woman message me the other day who said she had the same pair of glasses for 11 years. She was so grateful to get a new prescription because she couldn’t see out of her previous eye glasses,” Henderson said. “It’s something we don’t understand because if I can’t see, I go to the eye doctor, but not everyone can afford it.”
Henderson said she also has seen the community come together in support of the clinic.
“It’s rare for a free clinic to be open this long and be sustainable,” she said, “so it really is just a blessing and we are thankful for our community here in Weatherford. It is like no other place I ever have been.”
While the clinic has been closed since March, patients have been able to get prescription refills. The clinic had its first “soft opening” last Thursday for current patients and will continue this practice for the next few clinics. The goal is to hone their safety precautions before opening the clinic to the rest of the public.
“We are trying to figure out the process to protect our volunteers and our patients,” Henderson said. “So the first few clinics we will run through our processes to see if they make sense and keep everyone safe.”
Once fully up and operational again, the Agape Clinic will be open 5 p.m. until the last patient is seen every second and fourth Thursday of the month.
Those looking for more information on the clinic can visit www.agapemedicalweatherfordok.org or the Agape Medical Clinic Facebook page. Those interested in volunteering or donating can message the Facebook page, which Henderson manages, to be directed to the correct coordinator.
Pharmacy and pre-med volunteers are needed to work with patients, but the clinic also needs people to clean rooms between patients and gather patient information from cars.