Dr. Ervin Harder is no longer pulling teeth at the Hannibal Free Clinic (HFC), where he provided free dental service to the patients for many years before his death on Feb. 14, 2014, but he will not be forgotten by anyone entering the clinic

Dr. Ervin Harder is no longer pulling teeth at the Hannibal Free Clinic (HFC), where he provided free dental service to the patients for many years before his death on Feb. 14, 2014, but he will not be forgotten by anyone entering the clinic.

At a clinic donors’ banquet on Sept. 25 hosted by Hannibal-LaGrange University, Harder’s photograph was unveiled. It will be displayed in the clinic lobby.

Harder family members attending were Helen Harder, Hollie Smith, Paul Harder and Cheryl Harder.

The HFC is located at 3145 U.S. 61 North. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  The phone number is (573) 248-8307.  It serves adults from ages 18 to 64 who have no insurance, Medicaid or Medicare and an income level below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. It is staffed by doctors who donate their services.

The HFC’s primary care providers are Dr. Jeff Wells from Palmyra; Dr. Adam Samaritoni (medical director) and Kim Peters, ANP, from Hannibal Regional Medical Group; Dr. Priscilla Long, Dr. Erik Meidl and Dr. Stephen Halpin from the Hannibal Clinic; Dr. Thelma Peery and Dr. Phillip Rohde (starting soon) from Hannibal Regional Hospital.

At the banquet, Dr. Erv Harder was honored by Dr. Halpin, and Todd Ahrens noted Dr. Harder’s impact on the clinic.

Samaritoni commented on the clinic’s need for donations and volunteers.

Sharon Webster, RN, BSN, the HFC coordinator, shared some of the patients’ experiences.

One was a man who was seen by Dr. Long. Webster said Dr. Long recognized his need for surgery and the man was flown to a hospital to have a bypass. Later his wife said he would have died within a couple of months without the surgery.

Another patient was a man who had been hospitalized with blood clots. When he left the hospital, he went to WalMart to fill his prescriptions but could not pay for them. He was about to leave, then a WalMart pharmacist told him about the free clinic.

The clinic paid for his medication, and he is currently seen about every three months, Webster said. Before learning about the clinic, she said, “he was ready to walk out and die.”

Webster provided the following statistics. “Since the Hannibal Free Clinic opened in May 2007, we have seen over 1,400 individuals for over 9,700 visits.

“We currently have 150 to 200 persons on the waiting list to be seen and the wait can be up to four months or more.”

Earlier in 2014, the clinic reported it had served 132 new patients in 2013 and provided $1.6 million in medical assistance – prescriptions. Of this total all except $2,000 was donated.