BOONE — A temporary Wake Forest Baptist Health medical clinic at the main Boone campus of Samaritan’s Purse is now open, allowing employees to obtain routine and travel-based medical care.

According to Samaritan’s Purse spokesperson Kaitlyn Lahm, the temporary clinic opened in June and is available for employees and families of the international Christian charity relief organization as plans for a permanent clinic are further developed.

Lahm said the clinic is staffed by a doctor, nurse practitioner and a nurse and contains three exam rooms.

“This will provide a desirable employee benefit and help with staff retention,” Lahm said.

The clinic is run by Wake Forest Baptist, who was contacted by Samaritan’s Purse to take part.

“We reached out to Wake Forest Baptist Health because of their extensive experience in offering on-site health clinics,” Lahm said. “We are thankful to be partnering with them in this endeavor as they have been incredible to work with. The health clinic continues to refer to local Boone providers for a variety of services.”

“Samaritan’s Purse reached out to Wake Forest Baptist Health because they were aware of our experience in operating on-site health clinics,” said Wake Forest Baptist spokesperson Joe McCloskey. “As an international relief organization that deploys staff at a moment’s notice, they needed an on-site location to support their work. The clinic on the campus of Samaritan’s Purse is equipped to provide required pre-travel immunizations and prophylactics, as well as other routine medical care. We are proud to provide high quality health care to the staff and families of Samaritan’s Purse and are pleased to connect patients with other providers in the Boone area to meet their extended health care needs.”

The Boone-based clinic was cited as a need for the organization, Lahm previously said. The clinic handles routine medical needs for staff and their families, Lahm said. Everett Compitello, senior associate counsel to Samaritan’s Purse, told the Boone Town Council in May that it could serve up to 1,600 people a year, counting employees and dependents.

The future permanent clinic is planned to be built on a 0.59-acre tract of land located at 188 Milton Brown Heirs Road, which was acquired by Samaritan’s Purse in September 2018 for $285,000, according to Watauga County tax records.

The charity applied to the town of Boone for water and sewer service without annexation for the permanent clinic, but the application was denied, according to Boone Town Manager John Ward. The 28-acre Samaritan’s Purse main campus, located in the 800 block of Bamboo Road, is just outside of Boone town limits.

“We are still in the decision-making process for the permanent location, and it is too early to say how water and sewer will be handled there,” Lahm said.

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