Who We Are
The St. James The Less Free Clinic mission is to offer a faith-based healing ministry to our qualified Hanover neighbors by providing free medical and dental health care with compassion, dignity and respect.
We serve the medical, dental, podiatry, and eye care needs of Hanover County residents who are uninsured and verified as low income, based on the US poverty guidelines. We have locations in Ashland-St. James the Less Free Clinic, Ashland Christian Free Podiatry Clinic, Shiloh Baptist Free Eye Care Clinic; We also work out of Mechanicsville-Cheryl H. Watson Memorial Free Clinic and Mechanicsville Christian Free Dental Clinic.
You can read a detailed newspaper article about us at Hanover Interfaith Free Clinics Celebrate Eight Years. If you want detailed information about our organization, please go to https://hanoverfreeclinics.com.
How We Started
The Saint James the Less Free Clinic was started in late October of 2006 in the basement of St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Ashland, Va.
The clinic is open on Wednesday nights from 6-9 pm and provides free medical and dental services and prevention education to Hanoverians who are uninsured and meet certain income requirements. Hanover County Social services estimated in 2006 that over 8,000 folks were eligible for our services, so we have a lot of work to do. Within a few months of opening we had a long waiting list for dental services.
That began our story.
We Are Incorporating New Partners
Due to demand and enthusiastic response from the community we have grown over the years and now have four other church clinics and one on-site provider office within Hanover County serving as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and sharing the name of Hanover Interfaith Free Clinics. Our shared mission is, “To offer a faith-based healing ministry to our qualified Hanover neighbors by providing free medical and dental health care with compassion, dignity and respect.” We would love you to help us continue to write it in ways that we have yet to envision. We see the Ashland/Hanover community as one big chain of folks who are committed to making our world more like the kingdom that God envisions for us.
Every set of dentures we provide makes it easier for that patient to get a job and feel better about smiling! Our access to pharmaceutical programs helps us provide free life-saving pharmaceuticals to folks who could never begin to afford them. It is amazing to me how many folks live with significant dental pain due to the fact that professional dental care is financially out of reach for them. One patient told us that her children wanted her to smile more but she was embarrassed because of the condition of her teeth. Another patient told us that after having some teeth extracted at our clinic, she has been without pain for the first time in years.
The Impact on Our Own Parishioners
Some of our teens and seniors have learned how to provide dental assistance which may involve developing x-rays, mixing fillings and providing suction during procedures. One of our teens has enjoyed dental assisting so much that he has added “dentist” to his list of possible careers. It’s pretty special to see a young man in his last semester of high school helping at a free clinic on a weeknight. And it’s pretty wonderful that, aside from helping patients, we are also helping to develop young people in our community through this experience.
Want to Help?
So how can you be involved? First and foremost, if you are in need of our services, please call us at 798-8890 to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, one of our greatest needs right now is for more professional help – if you are a doctor, dentist or hygienist we would love you to talk to us about volunteering, perhaps just once per month or less. If you are not a professional, we would be thrilled if you would talk to your doctor, dentist or hygienist about the possibility of volunteering.
We are also looking for folks who would like to provide food for about 20 volunteers on a Wednesday evening. A number of our volunteers come straight from full-time jobs to work at the clinic and this is their dinner. Please call the clinic at 798-8890 and leave a message to learn about non-professional volunteering opportunities. Also, we are looking for folks who are interested in helping us raise money, whether it be a church donation or pledge, an individual donation or pledge or ideas and help with putting together fundraisers.
Stop By Anytime!
Otherwise, pop your head in some Wednesday night and see how your clinic is doing! We are located in the lower level of St James The Less Episcopal Church on the corner of Beverly Road and Lee Avenue in Ashland.
St. James the Less Free Clinic • P.O. Box 117 • Ashland, VA. 23005 • 804-798-8890