Rural Parish Clinic Will Serve in Some of the Poorest Counties in the Nation
November 5, 2018:ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis, in collaboration with the Rural Parish Workers and Catholic Charities of St. Louis, has established a mobile healthcare clinic that will operate in the southern reaches of the archdiocese, which includes some of the poorest counties in the nation.
Through this clinic, the Catholic Church will help meet the medical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the uninsured working poor, opening doors to services that were previously not available to them.
“I am very grateful for the support that this clinic has already received,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. “I look forward to launching the clinic on its mission of mercy in the best way possible, with a blessing, because it is primarily a work of healing and evangelization. Through this clinic, the Catholic Church will reach out to the uninsured working poor to help meet their medical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. Most importantly, it will help to draw everyone, those who give, those who serve, and those who receive service, closer to our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
According to a 2017 needs assessment for medical care in Franklin and Washington Counties, Washington County lags behind the United States and Missouri statistics on most health measures.
The Rural Parish Mobile Clinic as an outreach of Catholic Charities will collaborate with local agencies in areas of education and employment, mental and emotional health (including those directed at substance use disorders), family stability, and transportation. These services will help to address the root cause of poor health.
Sister Marie Paul Lockerd, RSM, DO, a Board Certified Family Practice physician, is the primary physician of the mobile clinic. Before coming to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, she worked for 20 years in Jackson, MN in a rural clinic managed by her religious community, the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI. In addition to her main role of providing diverse primary care at her clinic, she provided care for hospital and nursing home patients. She also provided emergency room patient care at a critical access hospital. She is trained in providing women’s health care aligned with Catholic values as a NaProTECHNOLOGY medical consultant and fertility care teacher. She has served on medical missions in Haiti and Peru. “I am delighted to be working with Catholic Charities to develop a mobile medical clinic to serve the uninsured working poor in the rural counties of the Archdiocese of St. Louis,” said Lockerd.
The mobile Rural Parish Clinic will be unveiled and blessed by Archbishop Carlson on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri 63119. Media is invited.