She was waiting in the exam room after going through the check-in process,
quietly afraid she had cancer. Not having insurance, she had put off coming
to the Moss Clinic for a long time, too long she feared. While her interview
and examination took only a few minutes, they had come at the end of months
of concern. Then the conclusion, "Everything is fine." A common
problem so simply addressed. There were no tears or cheers, but as she
left, her nurse got a quick hug as she whispered, "Thank you. I was
I have shared this story in order to initiate a community conversation
about healthcare in the Fredericksburg area. Topics will change periodically,
and I invite you to comment and contribute to the discussion. With a focus
on healthcare in general, and specifically women's health care, I
hope this will be an ongoing and useful discussion for our community.
As we start a community conversation about healthcare, I would like to
focus on some of the positive interactions with the Mary Washington Healthcare
as a system. I would like to start by focusing on one of the best examples
of volunteerism in Fredericksburg, the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic.
One of many physician volunteers since my arrival in Fredericksburg in
1995, I have seen the Moss Clinic move to a wonderful new facility. The
people who staff the clinic and the community volunteers have never changed.
I am always impressed by the doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who will
come in the evening after a full day at the hospital or office to continue
to provide care.
Community members volunteer to answer phones, schedule appointments, and
assist in every way. People give up time with their families to help others.
The amount of financial support provided to the Moss Clinic is also inspiring.
Fundraising is an ongoing job, and concerned members of the Fredericksburg
community continue to provide this much needed financial support. I have
never left an evening at the Moss Clinic without feeling humble, and proud
to be a member of the Fredericksburg community.
I hope that as time goes on, the need for places like the Moss Clinic will
be less and less. Meanwhile, I would like to acknowledge the vision of
Dr. Lloyd F. Moss, and recognize the positive contributions made by the
clinic staff and volunteers.
Dr. William A. Hamilton, OB/GYN
Chairperson of the Women's Health Institute