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Hope Clinic hosts fundraiser, honors doctor

ATLANTA - Doctors, medical professionals and community members gathered in Atlanta at the Academy of Medicine to raise money for Lawrenceville's Hope Clinic and to honor medical professionals.

The Hope Clinic hosted the event to raise awareness and funds to further the clinic's mission to provide quality health care to those in Gwinnett with limited or no access to medical care.

"Tonight is an opportunity to raise funds to further our mission of the Hope Clinic," said Dr. Bill Martin, founder of and physician for the clinic.

Several companies and individuals sponsored tables for the event, purchasing seat tickets and participating in a silent auction.

Pam Martin, Hope Clinic executive director and wife of Bill Martin, said the goal of the night's event was to raise about $25,000.

In addition to raising needed funds, Dr. John K. Davidson III was recognized for his work bringing sulfated insulin into the United States from Canada nearly 40 years ago.

Receiving his doctorate from the University of Toronto in 1965, Davidson later joined a team of doctors at Grady Memorial Hospital and became an emeritus professor of medicine at Emory University.

Originally from Lithonia, Davidson is known for his extensive work with diabetes both nationally and internationally. He is now retired and living with his wife in Atlanta.

When asked if he considered himself a medical hero, Davison laughed and said he is just a doctor.

"I'm a doctor who did what he had to do and changed the system," he said.

Employees and doctors with the Gwinnett Medical Center emergency room, Gwinnett Pulmonary Group and Gwinnett Surgical Association were among those honored Friday night.

The clinic honored these health care providers with the Circle of Hope and the Hands of Hope awards.

The Martins agreed that the event would help the clinic continue to be successful in Gwinnett.

The clinic, founded in 2002, provided more than $350,000 worth of uncompensated care directly to patients in need in 2005.

Bill Martin said there are more than 100,000 people in Gwinnett County who are uninsured and need the care of a physician.

"Our goal was to provide a place where people who don't have insurance can receive medical care for a reasonable fee," he said.

He explained that his clinic works on a "compassion gap" system.

"The fees are different for everyone," he said. "Everyone pays something, but we charge what they can afford."