Will-Grundy clinic to celebrate 25th anniversary with fundraising dinner
By Tony Graf email@example.com March 10, 2013 11:48PM
A view of the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic Friday, March 8, 2013, at 213 E. Cass St. in Joliet. The clinic is celebrating its 25th anniversary. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 12, 2013 6:20AM
JOLIET — The Will-Grundy Medical Clinic, which provides health care to the uninsured through the power of volunteer work, is celebrating its silver anniversary after 25 years of bringing medical help to Joliet’s uninsured population.
J.D. Ross, executive director of the clinic, took on his role at the clinic on the day after Labor Day 2006, after retiring the previous May as president of Joliet Junior College. Before he took on the director’s role, he had attended a couple of the clinic’s fundraising dinners, like one planned for this week.
“For 25 years, we’ve been serving people who are uninsured and who likely would not get good health care in any other manner if it were not for the clinic,” Ross said.
The clinic was opened in March 1988 at is what now the Spanish Community Center. In 1999, the clinic moved to its current location at 231 E. Cass St. in downtown Joliet. The clinic, which opened in Joliet 25 years ago this month, is holding its 25th anniversary dinner fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Patrick Haley Mansion, 17 S. Center St. in Joliet.
“Like every social service organization, we’re struggling to raise cash,” Ross said.
This year, clinic officials are focusing on its diabetes education program, Ross said, and there will be a special bid aimed at raising money for it. The clinic provides a comprehensive diabetes education program, thanks to support from several organizations, such as the diabetes centers at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.
“Several of the pharmaceutical companies are very supportive of our efforts in that regard — and our own nursing staff, which is very small in number,” Ross said. “But they just do a super job of working with diabetic patients.”
The clinic was established in 1987 before opening in Joliet the next year, according to a statement on its history.
In the quarter-century since the March 1988 opening, the clinic has treated thousands of patients, providing treatment and services with an estimated value of more than $92 million.
The clinic was the inspiration of the Will-Grundy Medical Society and a committee of community leaders from the two-county area.
“The mission now, as it was then, is to provide healthcare to the uninsured in Will Grundy counties using a network of volunteer professionals and other volunteers supported by a small paid staff,” the statement said.
During the last 25 years, hundreds of volunteer physicians, dentists, nurses, hygienists and other medical professionals have joined with thousands of other volunteers to provide their services to clinic patients, the document said.
The clinic credits its supporters in the community, including the United Ways of the two counties, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center, Silver Cross Hospital and Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.
Other supporters include Joliet Township government, the Holly Club, the Joliet Junior Woman’s Club and other businesses, organizations and churches.