MARBLE FALLS — Pat Hancock is on a mission from above.
Hancock credits a higher power for inspiring her to create an emotional care center for low-income patients when she first moved to Marble Falls more than two years ago.
IN PHOTO: The Rev. Max Copeland (seated) listens as Place of Hope Executive Director Pat Hancock welcomes guests to the free clinic’s grand opening Wednesday. The facility, 1009 Falls Parkway in Marble Falls, offers free medical and counseling services to eligible residents. Staff photo by Chris Porter
Now, after a year and hundreds — if not thousands — of volunteer hours later, Place of Hope is expanding to include medical needs at 1009 Falls Parkway.
A grand opening was held earlier today to herald the new services.
"I felt I wasn’t qualified to be the executive director of a center like this," Hancock said. "So I went and spoke to God, and he led me to see it through."
The nonprofit organization provides physical and emotional healing for patients who don’t have the means to afford health insurance, said Hancock, a Navasota native.
"I’ve had I don’t know how many people come to me who say they need medical care, but they can’t afford (health) insurance," Hancock said. "We’ll serve people up to 250 percent of the poverty level for free."
Patients at higher income levels will pay on a tiered system depending on their family income, Hancock added.
Medical services at Place of Hope will be provided by volunteer doctors and nurses, including several from Temple-based Scott & White, which operates the nearby Llano Memorial Hospital and the future Lake of the Hills Regional Medical Center south of Marble Falls.
"Scott & White has released all of their doctors to volunteer with us," Hancock said.
The center will have regular doctor’s hours each Friday, along with a physician on duty one Saturday each month, officials said.
Patients can be treated by a physician, meet with certified volunteers to deal with emotional trauma issues or receive assistance with prescriptions through the center’s Medical Assistance Program, Hancock said.
Place of Hope started in 2009 at its current location as a training center for volunteers who assisted victims of emotional and physical trauma, but now will add the new services.
Hancock said physician Brooks Blake helped her locate the building. The pair had visited a similar clinic in College Station and met with doctors there who provided advice and encouragement.
The full facility includes six exam rooms, counseling offices, a chapel and an area where patients can receive assistance obtaining prescriptions, Hancock said. The facility is funded entirely by community donations and volunteers, though officials said they’ll begin applying for government grants soon.
"Our belief is that healthier citizens build healthier communities," Hancock said.
Hancock said the facility always needs volunteers and cash donations, adding a chuck-wagon fundraiser is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Marble Falls’ Johnson Park, 230 S. Ave. J.
For more information on medical services, or to donate or volunteer, call (830) 798-8120.