Physicians Choice lab donates $100,000 to York County Free Clinic

dworthington@heraldonline.comNovember 6, 2013 

Physicians Choice Laboratory Services is donating $100,000 over two years to the York County Free Clinic to expand its services.

Physicians Choice president Joe Wiegel presented $50,000 of the gift Wednesday at the clinic’s annual meeting.

Wiegel said Physicians Choice made the gift because of the clinic’s “mission to deliver medical care to the uninsured and low-income residents.

“I can think of no better way to give back to York County,” Wiegel said.

Wiegal said the donation, from a business perspective, was easy to make “where you are giving from abundance.” But it is harder to give when time, resources and compassion are scarce.

Those scarce resources are what makes the free clinic successful, said Tony Fountain, chairman of the free clinic board and president of Westminster Towers. “I feel blessed because I see people who believe in something greater than themselves.”

Physicians Choice opened a 104,000-square-foot lab and offices in the Riverwalk development this summer. The lab does toxicology reports, drug screenings and genetic and DNA studies for physicians across the country.

The Free Clinic recognized Physicians Choice as a “partner in compassion” for its gift. Other donors honored at the meeting for giving more than $25,000 each in 2013 were the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation, Williams & Fudge, Sisters of Mercy Foundation and John and Ann Richards of Charlotte.

More than 150 people attended Wednesday’s luncheon. The group pledged to donate more than $353,700 to the clinic.

The clinic opened in 2008 as Palmetto Volunteers in Medicine. It recently moved to new offices at 410 Oakland Ave.

Fountain said the donations will allow the clinic to serve more people.

In the past three years the free clinic has averaged 2,500 patient visits per year.

The clinic wants to expand to include dental and vision services, Fountain said. He estimated there are 38,000 people in York County who are uninsured and need health care.

Fountain said there are still many needs at the clinic to “help ease the pain, to make someone’s life a little better.”

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066

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