Knox County Health Clinic honored


June 17, 2016

ROCKLAND — Maine Family Planning presented the Knox County Health Clinic with the Sue and Buzz Fitzgerald Beacon Award at the group's Spring Soiree. The Knox Clinic was selected for its "dedication to providing healthcare to families in Midcoast Maine, regardless of ability to pay," according to a news release.

Located in Rockland, the Knox Clinic was launched 17 years ago by Dr. Paul Klainer, medical director, and wife Jeanne Klainer, treasurer. Today, it operates under the leadership of the Klainers and Executive Director Meredith Batley. Clinic services include treatment for conditions like heart disease and diabetes, critical dental care for children and adults, free counseling services to people struggling with depression, and over $1.5 million worth of free medication every year.

The clinic accomplishes this work without a single public dollar — no state or federal grants, no Medicaid and no private insurance. Its patients are generally the working poor, those who are doing their best but are employed in professions that don't offer health insurance. Care is provided by doctors, psychiatrists, dentists, and other healthcare providers throughout the Midcoast area who volunteer their services.

“We really didn’t know what the clinic would become, or anticipate that it would still be so needed after 17 years,” Klainer said at the May 7 gathering. “The whole project, for us, is a matter of seeing the need, discovering what we can do about it, and then doing it. It’s mainly about trying to make a difference.”

Seventeen years ago, the Knox Clinic and Maine Family Planning entered into a partnership that allows primary care service providers to use the Rockland Family Planning health center space to provide services. Because Maine Family Planning also offers affordable care to people of any income level, the clinic at 22 White St., Rockland, has been known as a safe and reliable source of care for almost two decades.

“The challenges of managing a wholly voluntary organization are enormous, but leadership at the Knox County Health Clinic has managed to exceed expectations,” said Maine Family Planning President & and CEO George Hill. “The success of the clinic speaks to the quality relationships that Meredith Batley and the Klainers have built among healthcare providers in Midcoast Maine.”

The Sue and Buzz Fitzgerald Beacon Award was established to recognize individuals and organizations who work in a spirit of collaboration to improve the lot of those in greatest need. The award's namesakes made numerous contributions to the health and well-being of Maine women.


This piece originally ran in the Courier-Gazette. For the original article, click here: