The Hope Clinic in Lawrenceville has launched the Strong Foundation Campaign to raise money to support an expansion of the assistance it provides to Gwinnett's indigent, uninsured and underinsured residents.

Officials and supporters at the Hope Clinic in Lawrenceville are taking inspiration from the clinic’s name and have a little hope that big things may be on the horizon.

The clinic officially launched its Strong Foundation Campaign earlier this week during a kickoff event at the 1818 Club in unincorporated Duluth. The five-year campaign is a fundraising effort to meet needs to address an estimated increase of 5,000 new patients and more than 13,000 extra office visits by patients each year.

The clinic hopes to raise $5 million through the campaign to meet that expected increase.

“It is imperative that we rally together to make sure that Gwinnett County is ready to seize the opportunity to provide the very highest quality of medical care to those with limited or no access to healthcare,” SKH Enterprises Inc. President and CEO Stephen K. Hill, who is the campaign’s vice-chairman, said in a statement. “The Strong Foundation Campaign is our opportunity to do just that.”

The Hope Clinic is making moves to expand efforts to meet its mission of providing health care to Gwinnett’s poor, uninsured and underinsured residents. The clinic is looking to expand its office hours and chronic care management programs as well as add full-time behavioral health personnel in the coming years.

“It is my conviction, and that of our leadership for Hope Clinic and the Strong Foundation Campaign, that this effort will expand our ability to serve our community,” Hope Clinic founder Dr. Bill Martin said.

Gwinnett County Economic Development Manager and Strong Foundation’s Campaign Leadership Council member Shantell Wilson said expanding the clinic’s efforts in the community has an impact beyond providing another place for indigent, underinsured and uninsured residents a place to get medical help.

Local hospitals and the county’s emergency personnel will also feel an impact from the clinic’s efforts, she said.

“The care provided by the Hope Clinic helps ease the burden of medical treatment for chronic health conditions that would fall on our first responders and emergency rooms,” Wilson said.

The campaign is designed to help make the clinic’s plans a reality by generating the funds needed to pay for them. About 56 people, some of whom are husband and wife joint donors, and businesses have made contributions to get the campaign started, according to a list released by the clinic.

Clinic officials had already working privately to generate donations in an effort to get the campaign started before the kickoff. As of the official launch on Tuesday, more than $2.5 million in donations had been pledged for the campaign. That’s more than half of the goal set by campaign organizers, according to clinic officials.

Hill, Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, outgoing Gwinnett Chamber President Dan Kaufman, local philanthropists Clyde and Sandra Strickland and Dr. Dr. Marc Unterman hosted the kickoff event.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about contributing to the campaign can call 470-210-2046 or send an email to strongfoundation@hopeclinicinc.org.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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