Hannibal Free Clinic Honors Volunteers


The Hannibal Free Clinic held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, March 1, 2024, in the Hannibal Regional Conference Center. “This is a way to say thank you to our volunteers and donors, and to show them how much we appreciate what they do to keep the Hannibal Free Clinic going strong,” shares Sharon Webster, Director of the Hannibal Free Clinic. 

This year’s recipient of the “Supporting Our Service (SOS)” award is the Stone Prairie Foundation. The Stone Prairie Foundation reached out to the Hannibal Free Clinic several years ago to learn more about their mission and what they do for the residents of Northeast Missouri. The Foundation has since made several undesignated donations to the Free Clinic, to be used as needed. These funds have been vital to help the clinic meet the changing needs of Free Clinic patients in a variety of ways such as purchasing testing supplies for patients with diabetes, providing access to mental health resources, and contributing towards everyday expenses of the clinic.

This year’s Caring Heart award was given to Dr. Edward Cline, a podiatrist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group. Dr. Cline genuinely cares for his patients and has always been willing to see the Free Clinic patients. When Free Clinic patients have foot-related issues, he goes above and beyond for them. This especially impacts Free Clinic patients who have diabetes, as the care from Dr. Cline helps prevent serious complications in the future. Dr. Cline truly has a “Caring Heart.” 

The Heart Beat award was presented to the somewhat behind-the-scenes volunteers – without these individuals, the Free Clinic would simply not be what it is today. This year’s recipients are Paula Crane, Lisa Blackburn, and Janie Leathers. Paula has been a volunteer since the early days of the Free Clinic, when the building was located on Grand Avenue. Whenever asked to help with something, the first word out of Paula’s mouth is always “yes”, and her passion for helping others is tangible. Lisa Blackburn volunteers weekly to review charts and ensure the filing is done correctly. While it is not a job many people would want to do, Lisa does it with a smile.  Lisa is a hard worker and extremely reliable. Janie is a medical student currently doing her clinical rotations at Hannibal Regional. Janie is not exactly a “volunteer” at the Free Clinic, but she was the catalyst in establishing a partnership with the AT Still University School of Dentistry and Oral Health. Through this mutually beneficial relationship, dental students are now providing supervised dental care to Free Clinic patients. This will hopefully expand to become a more consistent clinical site for students with dental clinics. These three ladies, as well as the other volunteers, are certainly the “Heart Beat” of the Free Clinic. 

The Hannibal Free Clinic is a non-profit community charity that provides free primary healthcare to low-income patients in the region who are uninsured. In addition to basic care, the Free Clinic assists with connecting patients to limited chiropractic, dental, and vision services. The Hannibal Free Clinic is proud to partner with Clarity Healthcare to supply patients with access to mental health resources. The efforts and contributions of Free Clinic volunteers, staff, and donors continue to support the Free Clinic’s Mission: “To promote health and wellness by providing quality services, at no charge, to people without access to basic care.”