The Knox Clinic made local headlines last week with the announcement of a $2.1 million federal grant to build a federally qualified community health center in Knox County. We are so fortunate our funding partners and legislators share in our belief everyone deserves access to quality care. And we wish the headline truly represented where this grant process stands right now.

Yes, the request has been put forth into the federal budgeting process for next year, but that is only the first step in a long and complicated process toward actual funding. And while we are hopeful the request will bear fruit, when all is said and done, we have no way of knowing exactly if or how much would be granted, or when funds would be received.

And yet, getting this far is testament to the important role so many have played and will continue to play in building greater access to health services for all. We cannot underestimate the importance of Pen Bay Medical Center in providing a start-up grant over 20 years ago, and in their on-going support through the physical space and related services they’ve continued to this day and beyond. A shout-out also goes to Dr. Jack Gee who continues to donate his former clinical space to house our dental program, and to the many collaborating agencies serving our community.

Most importantly, a huge thank you to our donors and volunteers, who have led the way, and changed so many lives for the better. We are most grateful.

Meanwhile, our greatest challenges are to immediately expand our dental and mental health services, and maintain a solid foundation on which to build. Right now we have a clinic to run and patients to serve.

We hope to grow into a community health center with greater resources and opportunities to better serve our neighbors. While this may take multiple years, we are thrilled to have your support along the way.

Knox Clinic Board of Directors

Amy Barnett, Clifford Dacso, Edward Doudera, Jack Gee, Jeri Holm, Jeanne Klainer, Paul Klainer, Rebecca Laliberte, Steven Lindsay, Sharon McDermott, Kevin Olehnik and Matthew Turner