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Clinic gives vouchers for drugs

CONYERS - The Helping Hands clinic is providing vouchers for free respiratory inhalants to asthma patients who have no health insurance.

Janice Morris, co-founder of the clinic along with her husband, Tolbert, said there has been a strong demand for the inhalants since the vouchers became available earlier this month.

Morris added that ProAir, the manufacturer of the albuterol sulfate inhalant, has offered to provide additional vouchers for July.

Patients must show proof that they have asthma or come in for a check up to receive a voucher for the inhalants. Morris said patients can come by the clinic during office hours or call ahead to schedule a pick-up time.

The clinic is located at 1733 Lake Rockaway Road in Conyers at the entrance to the Lakeview Estates community and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. To contact the clinic, call 770-860-9545.

The vouchers program is the latest effort to expand services at Helping Hands. Morris said the clinic has been contacted by physicians in the area who are willing to volunteer there.

"With the help, I hope that we will be able to open the clinic for an additional day during the week," she said. "The need is definitely out there."

Morris said she hopes to expand the hours possibly later this summer.

The Helping Hands health care clinic was started a couple of years ago as an extension of the Morrises' after-school program when they noticed several children missing their lessons due to illness. Today the clinic offers basic health care and limited services for acute and some chronic cases.

The clinic has partnerships with Rockdale Medical Center, which provides medical laboratory services, and Kaiser Permanente. Wal-Mart is a corporate sponsor of Helping Hands.

Helping Hands is also preparing for its fourth annual Community Health Fair on July 25. Morris said the theme of this year's event is health for the whole family and will offer various health services, such as diagnostic ultrasound and electrocardiographic, or EKG, tests. Vendors will have information booths on health care services and products.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.