Volunteers to ‘retire’ from Ross Clinic
September 14, 2004
Though the medical team of Dr. William King and Nurse Practitioner Carol Read-Anderson are officially retiring their volunteer duties at the Ross Clinic on Tuesday, patient care will go on.
“The clinic is not shutting down,” said Read-Anderson. “We want the people to know that. They can still receive medical care here.”
Read-Anderson has volunteered at the clinic for 12 years. King has been there for 10. They worked one day a week and saw an average of 30 patients in three hours.
“They’re very needy,” Read-Anderson said. “Many of them have chronic problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Most people don’t realize we don’t get paid for this. This is what we do for fun.”
“I wouldn’t do this without her,” King said. “Medicine has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. I was a surgeon during that time. Carol has the medicine knowledge we needed.”
The Ross Clinic began 12 years ago with Dr. Charlie Ross. Read-Anderson joined him a short time thereafter. After Ross’s death in 1998, the clinic continued through the graces of community doctors and donations from the medical and general communities.
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“The clinic started in a chair in the corner of a multi-purpose room,” Read-Anderson said, “with Dr. Ross and myself alternating clinic days.
“Patients were seen on an honor system and it worked really well. We then moved to a closet, then to a cockroach-infested motel room.”
After learning of the clinic’s needs and working conditions, a local businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, purchased several offices in the 100 block of East Long Street and remodeled them to accommodate staff, services, storage and more patients.
“He gave us a brand new clinic with three rooms, each with a sink, plus two rooms for medicines and supplies, and furniture.
“Everybody donates their time and everybody depends on each other. We have two lovely ladies as receptionists – Lois Gilbert and Joan Papiano. And Dennis O’Neill has been volunteering for seven years now. He files and takes care of me.”
“I’m more or less the gofer,” O’Neill said with a smile.
“And a grateful patient,” Read-Anderson added.
Anna Farr volunteers as an interpreter for the Hispanic community; Nancy Juneau and Lynn Hunter, both registered nurses, also donate time. Paula House visits the clinic once a month and offers prayer to patients and staff.
“We had Consuelo Farmer here for three years,” King said. “She organized the patients for us and spoke beautiful Spanish. She graced our clinic.” Mrs. Farmer died in 2003.
Coming in to care for patients will be Dr. Rex Baggett of Carson City. A prescription program is also in place through St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
“We get no money; we take no money,” said Read-Anderson. “We operate totally on the generosity of big hearts.”
Patients must qualify by need at the clinic. Dr. Baggett will see patients Tuesday afternoons and Dr. Brian Sonderegger will see patients on Fridays. Nurse practitioner Chris Freuglia is in on Monday afternoons.
“I’ve loved my work here,” said Read-Anderson. “It’s been an honor to take care of these patients.”
“I agree,” King said.
King said he will continue to keep active in the community as he has for many years.
“I’m still active with the church, but it takes a lot out of me,” he said.
“I plan on donating more time to my daughter’s school,” Read-Anderson said of her daughter Rachel. “And spending more time with my husband, Mickey. I also restore and rebind old books. I just treasure that.”
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.