The Good Samaritan Clinic (GSC) has been providing assistance for those without healthcare in the Columbia area for 17 years.

“We don’t want people coming to us just because they’re sick, we want to help keep them from getting sick,” Shannon Madden, the Executive Director of GSC, said.

There are four different locations for the health clinics in South Carolina: Chapin, Columbia, West Columbia and Edisto Island. All four locations serve as hybrids of basic and urgent care, with slight variations in types of services provided.

Recently, the GSC opened a dental clinic in their Columbia location that not only provides free dental care, but also provides free oral health education in both English and Spanish.

“Dental health is the key to your overall health is said all the time, and it really is true,” Madden said. “We really appreciate [The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina] for all their help. We would not have been able to grow our ability to provide dental services if it wasn’t for [the Foundation].”

The Columbia clinic is open on Thursdays beginning at 2 p.m. and ending after the last patient is seen. Typically, a clinic will see around 19 patients the day it is open. All the medical professionals at the clinic are volunteers who dedicate their time to helping those that are not able to afford healthcare.

“We really wish we had more [volunteers] because the more volunteers we have, the more patients can be seen and it may be possible to have the clinic open more days,” said Madden. “Nothing really compares to what we’re doing; we’re reaching people that need help so that they can have hope.”