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2012-02-02

Nagel Clinic kicks off Capital Campaign

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Since opening in 2008, the mission of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic has remained the same, but due to an increased need for services, the facility's footprint is about to change.

Administrators of the healthcare clinic announced a $450,000 Capital Campaign during a reception at the Purple Sage Ranch and Conference Center on Friday, Jan. 27. The gathering also honored Kerrville's Perry & Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation for spearheading the fundraising efforts with a $100,000 Challenge Grant, according to Dan Wise, president of the healthcare clinic's board of directors.

According to Wise, the foundation grant will be used to attract individual contributors "who believe in what the clinic can accomplish."

"Once we raise another $100,000 - which represents half of the Capital Campaign - we can apply for grants from other charitable sources, such as The Meadows Foundation of Dallas, Kerrville's Cailloux Foundation and the JE and LE Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, among others," Wise said, adding, "However, it is community support that drives foundation grants."

Funds raised during the Capital Campaign will be used to expand the clinic by an additional 1,800 square feet on the northside of the present building, said Robert Grimes, a member of the board of directors. The expansion is necessary because of overcrowding and an increasingly inefficient floor plan, he explained. "The Nagel Clinic was not built to provide care for as many patients as it is serving today," he said. "The patient population continues to grow because the patients we treat have no other access to medical care in Bandera County."

According to Grimes, in 2011, 2,785 patient visits represented an increase of 80 percent since the healthcare clinic opened in 2008 and an astounding 23 percent increase in services over 2010. "Since the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic opened, its medical practitioners have delivered over $1 million of healthcare services to the people of Bandera County," Grimes said.

Since its inception, the Nagel Clinic has provided free and low-cost healthcare services to residents who are not eligible for medical care within the county. To qualify for clinic services, patients cannot have health insurance and their income must not exceed 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Additionally, patients must be re-certified annually to be eligible for clinic services, Grimes explained.

Currently, the clinic has a seven-member paid staff of healthcare providers and 12 volunteers. However, building's present configuration makes it difficult to add more staff and does not include enough examination rooms to meet current and projected patient demand.

The proposed expansion would nearly double the clinic's space from 2,200 to 4,000 square feet. Attic space would be utilized for storage; two examination rooms would be reclaimed; patient admissions would be enclosed for privacy; and the reception area would add 10 more chairs. The clinic's new entrance will be at the south end of the present building where the porte-cochere is located.

The revised floor plan will also include an expanded kitchen, which is used for patient education workshops, as well as a larger nurses' station to improve workflow and increased space for the Prescription Assistance Program, which distributes over half a million dollars worth of medicine annually. Also included in the expansion project will be a multi-purpose office, laboratory, staff offices and conference room.

Additionally, the expansion will include 20 more parking spaces, as well as a 10,000-gallon collection tank for rainwater harvesting. "In the future, we hope to install solar panels," Grimes said. "This expansion will help the Nagel Clinic meet the community's needs for the next 10 years."

Wise said he had fielded questions about the need for the expansion. "Some people asked me, 'Why not just keep the clinic open more days in the week'?" he said.

The answer, according to Helping Hand Executive Director Jesse Parks came down to space.

"We simply do not have enough space to function properly," she said in an interview, "even if the clinic were open five days a week. When we open the clinic we didn't realize the patient load would grow the way it has. And, frankly, our original budget was too conservation."

Parks continued, "The number of patients seen in the Nagel Clinic has also increased because of the poor economy. People lost their jobs and health insurance and have nowhere else to turn for their healthcare needs."

Wise continued, "In 2007, the late Arthur Nagel's generous gift of $150,000 was leveraged to build the $658,000 healthcare clinic. Now, the $100,000 grant from the Stevens Foundation has made it possible to start our Capital Campaign. However, we will require community support, which drives grants from other foundations. When we approach foundations for contributions, they first ask about the community's support for the project. If isn't there, they say: 'If your own community isn't supporting this campaign, why should we'?"

Wise concluded, "With your help, we can assure that no qualified patient will ever be turned away."

Seed money for the community health clinic designated for no- to low-income county residents came from Kerrville philanthropist Arthur Nagel, who identified a local need and offered $150,000 toward filling that need.

His initial donation financed the clinic's architectural design and basic structure, and community support helped see the project to its fruition. Nagel's gift served as impetus for donations that eventually totaled nearly $800,000 - with over $150,000 raised locally, according to Pat Breedlove, who had served as chairman of the self-described "fun-raising" committee.

Speaking about his late father's generous gift to Bandera County, Gary Nagel said, "My father made a decision to do something, and when he made a decision, it was going to get done. He offered the spark for this project and you've kept it going.

Thank you for stoking the fire."

For more information on the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic Capital Campaign, contact Executive Director K. Irene Stone at
830-796-3448.


Staff Photos by Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Helping Hand Executive Director Jesse Parks spoke with Lily Nagel Skinner and her husband, retired Col. Hank Skinner. Lily Skinner is the sister of the late Arthur Nagel, whose generous gift of $150,000 enable the construction of the healthcare clinic.

Supporters of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic at the Friday, Jan. 27, kick off for the Capital Campaign included Peggy and Bill Araiza.

Helping Hand Assistant Director Laura White joined Kathy Gardener, who serves as president of the Helping Hand Board of Directors.

Gary and Sandy Nagel of San Antonio attended the kick-off for the Capital Campaign for the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, named for Gary Nagel's late father, who provided seed money for the healthcare facility.

Pastor Butch Eby, shown with his wife, Karen, serves on the healthcare clinic's board of directors.

Flanked by K. Irene Stone and Dan Wise of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic was Phillip Milton, who, along with his wife, Laurie, serves as a trustee for Kerrville's Perry & Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation. The foundation provided a $100,000 Challenge Grant for the healthcare clinic's Capital Campaign.