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FernCare Opens in New Location After Three Years of Waiting

The FernCare Free Clinic has opened its doors on Nine Mile Road.

After a long time coming, the official opening of FernCare Free Clinic Saturday marked an emotional day along with a new spirit of hope for the city and for many involved.

The clinic, which provides free medical assistance to those who are uninsured from ages 19-64, has been in the process of receiving its own building for over three years. Having operated inside the since 2010, consistent fundraising efforts turned the 459 E. Nine Mile Rd. building, donated by , into FernCare’s new home.

“This is such a big step for us, having the building and having a physical presence,” said Ann Heler, board president of FernCare. “I am without words; I am trying very hard not to cry.”

With renovations of the building originally estimated to be around $230,000, donations and volunteer hours brought the total down to $30,000.

All cubicles and office furniture were donated by Credit Union One, and the clinic’s six exam tables were donated by various residents.

“It’s amazing; we’ve seen it in bits and piece but this morning there was something new for me to see,” said Kate Baker, founding board member and Mayor pro tem.  “Not only does everything work but the pharmacists and the doctors love their space and there is always some new little detail.”

Now that the clinic is officially open to the public, it is working on expanding hours and services. Currently, FernCare has about 120 regular patients, and operates strictly on funds accumulated from donations.

“This is such an expression of Ferndale and the surrounding communities; we have such energy that’s different from other places and somewhere like this is what happens with that difference,” Heler said. “I want the community to come inside and see what they did, not what we did, but what they did."

FernCare will host their next fundraiser, “Rosie’s Scare for Care”, Oct. 11-26 at in downtown Ferndale. The community is invited to stop in anytime and vote for their favorite scarecrow. All of the money that is collected by choosing FernCare’s scarecrow in the contest will go toward the clinic.

FernCare Free Clinic is located at 459 E. Mile Rd. and is currently open two Saturdays a month. Medical volunteers are greatly needed. For more information, call 248-677-2273 or visit ferncare.org.

Ann Heler October 09, 2011 at 03:34 PM
The Grand Opening was beyond expectation! Thank you so much, everyone......all of your kind words and your support gives the Board and the Clinic Team so much energy to work so much harder. We look forward to being part of the community in a positive way for a long, long time to come. Ann Heler and the FernCare Board of Directors
Joann October 09, 2011 at 03:56 PM
It was amazing. The support from the communities is wonderful. What a labor of love.
Linda Baker October 10, 2011 at 01:37 AM
Just goes to show you what can be done - we are a model for others to do the same in their communities - we are all so proud of what has been accomplished by working together - WE ARE HOME!

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