When a free medical clinic opened in East Texas, thousands came for care


Juanita Franklin at the Christian Life Center food pantry in Gun Barrel City, where she volunteers. Franklin lost her state Medicaid coverage in 2019 and is still uninsured. She now relies on the East Texas Community Clinic for regular care. Credit: Kim Krisberg

Ted Mettetal (left) and Doug Curran outside the East Texas Community Clinic’s Athens location. The friends first met in medical school and decided to open a clinic available to anyone, regardless of ability to pay. Credit: Blaine Young

Glen Robison, CEO of the East Texas Community Clinic, in his Athens office in November. Robison is in charge of securing the clinic’s long-term funding. Credit: Blaine Young

Doug Curran treats a patient at the East Texas Community Clinic’s original location in Gun Barrel City in November. The clinic has since moved into a bigger building down the road. Credit: Blaine Young

Colby Estrada schedules appointments at the clinic’s Gun Barrel City location. She and her parents are also patients there. Credit: Blaine Young




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