The Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic of Laurens County, South Carolina has provided free medical care and medications to the uninsured population in Laurens County for 30 years. The clinic provides onsite medical visits and referrals, along with arranging for other medical needs, such as diagnostics, testing, medications, and surgeries. According to a community-needs assessment conducted by Prisma Health in 2022, all of Laurens County’s residents live within a Health Professional Shortage Area with a ratio of 2,050 residents to one Primary Care Provider. In addition, this assessment found that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease with hypertension were the areas of health needing most improvement within the county. These are the two focus areas of the preventive programs at Good Shepherd.   

After losing its funding from the United Way of Laurens County in 2021, which provided most of its funding for its community pharmacy, both the medications and diabetes management tools that contributed to the health improvement of the low-income patients were at risk. To cover this significant and unexpected shortfall, the CCME Foundation provided a $10,000 grant for the Good Shepherd community pharmacy program, which is operated by the Presbyterian College Pharmacy School on behalf of the clinic’s patients.     

Good Shepherd is the only free clinic in Laurens County. With 17% of county residents uninsured, all clinic services and medications are free of charge for patients who qualify. These patients are within the health insurance coverage gap: their household income is too large for Medicaid, but they do not make enough to afford health insurance on their own. Good Shepherd will take patients who are county residents and who have a household income up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The clinic serves an average of 320 patients per year through its clinic volunteers and its relationships with Prisma Health, local pharmacies, and the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.   

One patient recently aged out of the clinic due to becoming Medicare eligible. He came to the clinic several years ago, very unhealthy with nutrition problems, a failing liver and kidneys, and having been in and out of the Emergency Room for years. While living at the Clinton Men’s Shelter, he came to Good Shepherd where he received medical care that turned his health and life around. After being treated by specialists for his many health problems, becoming compliant with his medications, and managing his chronic disease; this patient started bringing in other residents of the men’s shelter, driving them to their appointments, and helping them get their health under control. In the end, because of his experiences with Good Shepherd, he became an advocate for others in his situation.        

To learn more about this impactful and desperately needed resource within rural South Carolina, please visit