By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Manos Juntas Free Clinic, the long time standard of free care in Oklahoma City, will hold its 21st Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser on Saturday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m.
The event will be held at the clinic’s new location, the Pennsylvania Avenue Redemption United Methodist Church, 1320 North Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City. The evening will include a live auction, dinner, and tours of the facility.
Fundación Manos Juntas (Joined Hands Foundation) is a free health care endeavor started by Dr. Boyd Shook and his daughter, Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie. Their desire to help the poor and the underprivileged motivated them to create the Manos Juntas Free Medical Clinic.
A native Oklahoman, Dr. Shook specializes in Internal Medicine and has practiced Hematology and Oncology for over 25 years. He served as a medical director for the Central Oklahoma Medical Group and as Chief of Ambulatory Care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“We moved away from Epworth about 1 year ago and now have our clinic in the Penn Avenue Redemption Methodist Church. It is a prison ministry,” Shook, the Manos Juntas President and Medical Director said. “We still have clinic there every Saturday, but we have added patients from the prison system who are usually on probation. Our previous patients still come to the new clinic.”
Funded by grants and donations, the clinic offers free medical care to those in need regardless of insurance, income, origin, age, sex, race, or religion.
“We receive more than 20 new patients every week, that’s more than 1,000 in one year,” said Kris Barnes, Executive Director of the Manos Juntas Foundation and Free Clinic. “However, donations have decreased by fifty percent in the last two years.”
Foundations that have contributed grants to Manos Juntas this year include the Boeing Community Fund – $15,000; the Combined Federal Campaign – $6,000; the Oklahoma City Community Foundation (OCCF) iFund Grant Program – $10,000; and The Dallas Foundation – $1,000.
Recently, Manos Juntas completed the formation of an endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation (OCCF).
“On behalf of the 6,000 patients and their families who were served in 2015 in Oklahoma and Nicaragua, and the 30 college students in Nicaragua who received scholarships from Fundación Manos Juntas, we wish to thank the Oklahoma City Community Foundation for partnering with us,” said Virgil Stout, Fundacion Manos Juntas Finance Committee Chair.
“We see the establishment of the Fundación Manos Juntas/Dr. Boyd Shook Fund, to be the beginning of a long and productive relationship between OCCF and FMJ in our efforts to provide medical services to the underserved in our communities,” Stout said.
Over the last 21 years, the foundation has treated more than 110,000 people during over 30 medical mission trips to Nicaragua. In addition, the organization has treated more than 23,000 un-insured and under-insured residents of central Oklahoma. They have also provided college scholarships for more than 300 graduates in Nicaragua.
Led by Pastor Brad Rogers, a member of the Manos Juntas Foundation board of directors, the Penn Avenue Church is the designated prison ministry location for the local Methodist congregation.
“The lay leader and church secretary, Bud and Marcia Manning, have been volunteering in the clinic every Saturday since we moved to the new location,” said Barnes. “They have both been involved in prison ministry for more than 20 years.
“They bus prisoners in from several different facilities every Thursday and Sunday,” Barnes added. “I know their funding has been cut by $20,000 this year and that they also depend on volunteers to do most of the work.
“It has been a blessing to be able to partner with them in helping our community,” Barnes said.
The clinic accepts new patients on a first come first serve bases on Saturday mornings from 8 – 11:30 a.m. “We continue working until everyone who signs in during that time period has been seen by a physician and been giving their medications.” Barnes added.
Medical services include examination by physicians, medications, laboratory tests, management of chronic illness, and healthcare referrals if needed at no cost.
To attend the Anniversary Celebration event or for more information, call 405-605-3101 or visit www.manosjuntas.com.