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Culmore Clinic opens in new location in Falls Church

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Welcome. Bienvenido. Chào Mừng.

A sign in multiple languages greets clients coming for medical care at Culmore Clinic in Falls Church before they check in at registration. Engraved bricks pave the way to the clinic and acknowledge those who have supported the efforts.

Here, they have access to doctors, nurses and education classes at a practice for those without medical insurance.

The new location for Culmore Clinic at First Christian Church of Falls Church opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 9.

Co-founded in 2007 by Terry O’Hara Lavoie and Ann Cartwright, parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church, Culmore Clinic provides basic health services with a largely volunteer staff.

One benefit of the move includes the addition of a third operating day, allowing additional health classes, on-site blood draws, testing, medication distribution and pharmaceutical counseling.

“This is a true medical home, this is not simply an urgent care,” said Father Tuck Grinnell, retired priest and former pastor of St. Anthony. “In other words, people find this as their medical center. It’s wholistic. It’s not simply medical care.”

First Christian Church of Falls Church pastor, Steven B. Moore, said part of the congregation’s ethos is the importance of justice and peace. He said the question of providing new space for the clinic was more about how to make it happen than if it should happen.

“What a testament to faith,” said Father Grinnell. “That’s true Christianity, asking what can we do?”

“The new location will enhance the services the clinic can offer,” said Father Matthew H. Zuberbueler, pastor of St. Anthony. “It may be slightly further away for some of our people but once the location is known it should work out fine for the people.

“In the area surrounding St. Anthony Parish, there are many people who struggle with finding the bare necessities of life. Culmore Clinic is one of the places that is well-positioned to offer a helping hand, which then leads to further support and assistance,” said Father Zuberbueler.

Students from Blessed Sacrament School in Alexandria raised money for Culmore Clinic during their monthly Dress-Down Days for Charity. Their donation of more than $300 earned them a brick with the school’s name permanently installed outside the clinic, along with other interfaith congregations that support the clinic.

"I'm proud that our school donated money to Culmore Clinic to help save lives," said fifth-grade student council representative Luke Sparrow.

"I feel happy that our school donated to Culmore Clinic because people who don't have health insurance now have a place to go for help," said fifth-grader Drew Markey, who suggested the clinic as the March charitable organization.

The school has a long history of supporting the clinic. Blessed Sacrament students earned confirmation service hours and donated funds raised from a baby-sitting service they created for busy couples to have a "date-night."

“As part of their confirmation preparation, our seventh-graders volunteered at Culmore Clinic in December during their ‘Solidarity Field Trip’ making cards and writing letters to patients, some in Spanish,” said Kate Markey, director of marketing and development at the school.

“The clinic meets some vital needs of many suffering people,” said Father Zuberbueler. “The work is done with a joyful, welcoming spirit which, in itself, eases some of the burden of the clients' day.”

Find out more

Culmore Clinic, 6165 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.

Go to culmoreclinic.org or call 571/205-7649.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019