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Davis Journal

Hope Clinic heals patients and those who serve

May 02, 2024 08:18AM ● By Kerry Angelbuer
Dr. Taylor and Jane Powers are co-directors of the Hope Clinic offering free healthcare to those who may fall between the cracks in the healthcare system. Courtesy photo

Dr. Taylor and Jane Powers are co-directors of the Hope Clinic offering free healthcare to those who may fall between the cracks in the healthcare system. Courtesy photo

An army of volunteers donate time and resources to the Hope Clinic in Midvale to allow many underserved people to access quality healthcare. Kjung Kim of North Salt Lake volunteers at the clinic once a week joining the 225 other volunteers of this service-oriented clinic. She has a degree in public health and mostly acts as a receptionist and Spanish Interpreter for a block of time on Tuesdays. She highly recommends helping, saying that the clinic is an energetic environment that has room for many kinds of helpers.

“It is an amazing place that heals patients and volunteers,” said Jane Powers, who helped open the clinic back in 2010.

Powers speaks of a large demographic served at the Hope Clinic that doesn’t get enough hours at work, lacks documentation, or has other social, economic or cultural barriers. She helps pair these needy populations with a family of volunteers including teachers, nurses, lab techs, accountants and donors. Many patients served at the clinic return as volunteers possibly to help organize donated supplies, interpret for other families, or just to help keep the clinic clean. Language interpreters are also often recruited from BYU who learned to speak a variety of languages on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About 60% of patients seen at the clinic speak Spanish, but many others from Africa, Ukraine, or the Middle East need various interpreters. Preferably human, but sometimes electronic language translators. 

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the clinic sees patients non-stop from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with no breaks. Walk-ins are welcomed on these days who come to the clinic at 65 East 6850 South in Midvale. Sometimes, the intake just directs patients to places they can already access the health care they need. Refugees, for example, are given six months of Medicaid by the government to ease their transition. Specialty clinics are offered in the afternoons including gynecology, pediatrics, neurology and even minor surgeries. Often the clinic sees up to 120-140 patients during a single day. The Hope Clinic continued to operate during the COVID pandemic moving to the parking lot to safely serve the community. Currently, they use their 1,600-square-foot facility to serve their ever-growing numbers of working poor, immigrants and refugees. Many of the patients of the clinic suffer from diabetes which is caused in part by the overly-processed, insulin-spiking food that is so prevalent in the states. Large groups of Pacific Islanders are particularly prone to diabetes and can receive help at the clinic. 

Those in need of free medical care or a meaningful volunteer position are invited to visit the Utah Hope Clinic website. Information on who can get care, hours of operation, and times of the multitude of specialty clinics can be found. Additionally, there is information on volunteering. The clinic is funded by private donors. The website allows online donations and suggests other ways to contribute to the clinic such as donating medical supplies left from when a loved one passes or providing extra food, clothing and other basic supplies to help these challenged families. The present burgeoning inflation is problematic to these already vulnerable populations, Powers said. “Hope is a place of healing where we see miracles happen. A very spiritual place where people of diverse religious backgrounds can feel unity. Hope Clinic acts like a co-op garden, except the plants are people.”