Clinic helps community following resident's death

CHERRY VALLEY, AR (KAIT)- A local clinic is seeing an increase in patients after opening their doors three years ago.

ARCare in Cherry Valley is located on the Cross County School District campus and while a quarter of their patients are students, they are also filling a great need in the community.

"We had a lady that came to the food pantry that fell and she had a big knot on her when she came in," said Joan Ball, director of the Cherry Valley Food Pantry.

Joan Ball with the Cherry Valley food pantry suggested she see a doctor. "She said well I can't afford it and she came back the next week and it really looked bad that day and we were all real concerned about her."

Ball said the woman was on Medicare but did not have enough money to pay the difference.

And then the unimaginable happened.

"In a few days she passed away because she had a blot clot that went to her brain," Ball said. "We felt like we could have done more but we don't have any place here to take anybody."

That's when Ball started calling local doctors to see if they could come to Cherry Valley once a week. Soon the superintendent at the Cross County School District answered her call. The school volunteered to put the clinic on their land.

"On average, I would say we see around 300 to 320 [patients] a month," said ARCare Regional Director, Chris Gibson.

A 15 percent growth from last year and a 50 percent increase since they opened their doors 3 years ago.

Gibson said this clinic fills such a big need in the community.

"There are no providers within Cherry Valley and it was just an under served market," he said.

There are currently 32 ARCare clinics in Northeast Arkansas. These clinics bill patients based off their income.

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