(Locator: Glendale, California)
Inside the education building at First United Methodist Church near Los
Angeles, Sylvia Lofftus and a team of volunteers transform an old Sunday
school classroom into a one-of-a-kind health clinic.
Sylvia Lofftus: “Everything that’s here we give to our patients at no
cost to them.”
Five years ago, Sylvia co-founded the clinic with Dr. Arbi Ghazarian—who
was running out of space to treat patients for free.
Dr. Arbi Ghazarian, Clinic Co-founder: “What every human being deserves when it
comes to medicine is good health care. That’s what we want to provide
here. Ultimately, in God’s eyes, we’re all the same.”
Born and raised in Iran, Ghazarian says living through his country’s war
with Iraq taught him the importance of sharing burdens.
Dr. Arbi Ghazarian, Clinic Co-founder: “Times were tough, and when times were
tough people helped each other.”
Ghazarian says it’s why he spends each Tuesday night here leading an
all-volunteer staff of doctors, nurses, and college students.
Cathy Bartoo, Church Volunteer: “So many of these people had jobs for
years, and all of a sudden you lose your job and you lose your insurance
… it’s a really scary situation.”
Yvonne is a diabetic who lost her job—and insurance—several
Yvonne, Patient: “It’s just really expensive, and this place has
saved me—and saved my sanity.”
Dr. Arbi Ghazarian, Clinic Co-founder: “Anything can walk in our doors, so
sometimes it’s tough, it’s challenging. Where would they be if there’s
nothing like this? Either at home getting sicker, or an emergency room
ER visits can cost $300. This clinic treats patients for about $14—a
solution Sylvia says saves money and lives.
Sylvia Lofftus: “It’s like a mission. Not going to a foreign country to
do this mission. I’m doing it right here in my own church.”
In the five years since it’s been
open, the clinic has saved patients—and taxpayers—hundreds of thousands
Click for more information on the
clinic. You can call
Glendale First United Methodist Church
at 818-243-2105, ext. 202.
Church welcomes free health clinic
Posted: June 17, 2009