Polk Wellness

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, August 28, 2014

To the editor,
“Community” is often defined as “a group of people living in an area sharing a common interest”. The majority of my own experiences within our community of Polk County and Landrum have been outstanding. We are fortunate to have a diverse population in terms of race, creed, socioeconomic background and age. What we share is the commitment to one another. We are fortunate to have extraordinary not-for-profit organizations which serve many of the needs and interests of our neighbors. Foothills Humane Society, Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, Lanier Library, Steps to Hope, and the Tryon Fine Arts Center are just a few examples of these wonderful organizations.
The recent sudden closing of the Saluda Medical Center, after 40 years, is a tremendous loss for our community. It was one of a very small number of resources upon which our poor or uninsured neighbors depended. Where will they go? Many will find their way to Polk Wellness Center in Columbus. It is surprising to me that quite a few people are unaware that Polk Wellness, as I call it, is also a federally-recognized not-for-profit organization. As a 501 (c)(3) organization, it depends on contributions from the public to supplement the funds for services which reimbursements and grants do not meet. Not only does Polk Wellness tend to the uninsured and under-insured, it also treats those fortunate enough to have medical insurance. It is also one of the decreasing number of medical facilities which accepts Medicare and Medicaid. Rather than being a corporation more interested in the bottom line to benefit its shareholders, Polk Wellness is committed to providing compassionate care while tending to the health and well-being of every person seeking help, whether for mental health care, medical care, or both.
Polk Wellness is already seeing patients making the transition from the Saluda Medical Center. The facility faces constant financial challenges along with many non-profit organizations. Grants are an important part of the budget, though are usually awarded on a 1-year basis, so fundraising is always an essential component of its own health. The staff, board and consultants at Polk Wellness are hard at work trying to obtain financial support, but it seems that need always exceeds available funds. This is where our “community” should step in. Please consider making a contribution to Polk Wellness Center located at 155 W. Mills St. in Columbus. Check with your tax advisor as your contribution may be tax deductible.
Thank you.

Ginny Plume

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