The Lake Norman Community Health Clinic, a longtime medical practice serving uninsured and low income residents of Mecklenburg County and southern Iredell County, recently unveiled a new, renovated kitchen and nutrition training room.
“The new kitchen provides a vital resource to better serve our patients, such as those who must learn new nutritional skills because of diseases like diabetes,” said April Cook, co-founder and executive director.
In addition to housing nutrition classes for chronically ill patients, the kitchen space will also serve as a thank you to the clinic’s volunteers by giving them a place to relax between patients and have coffee or lunch.
More than 100 doctors, nurses and lab technicians volunteer their services at the Huntersville clinic to bridge the health insurance gap and provide health care to people who do not qualify for insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Over the past 17 years, they have provided more than 50,000 appointments to more than 7,000 people in the community.
The new kitchen was funded and constructed by members of the 2014-15 class of Leadership Lake Norman, as their cornerstone community service project. The education and service program sponsored by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce teaches members who live and work in the Lake Norman region, how infrastructure, government and economic development organizations operate and serve the local community.
“The staff, volunteers and patients are so grateful to the many members of the Leadership Lake Norman Class who came together and worked hard to provide us this great space,” said Cook.
The class began the project by holding two fundraisers earlier this year – a movie night at Our Town Cinemas in Davidson and a night out at D9 Brewery, which included a silent and live auction, wine wall and a raffle. In total, the events raised more than $3,000.
“Everyone participated in some way during both the fundraising and construction phases,” said the group’s spokesperson, Shayna Inman. “The overall project was led by Kim Snyder of High Caliber Realtors and construction project management was led by Beau Rosser of Montrose Construction.”
Under Rosser’s direction, the classmates helped with the nonskilled labor needs such as demolition, stripping and waxing floors and painting, while local tradesmen volunteered their services to help with plumbing and electric.
As for why the class chose the kitchen for their service project, Inman said it all went back to a visit they took to the clinic during the day in Leadership Lake Norman that they spent learning about health care.
“April Cook shared how they had been able to keep the treatment areas of the clinic up to date with the latest technology and needs, but the kitchen was always the last on the list,” she said. “So we decided we would help change that.”
Jennifer Baxter is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.