St. Martin’s Healthcare has been a wonderful blessing for DeKalb County. Originally conceived as a Christian outreach healthcare ministry by St. Joseph Catholic Church in Garrett, SMHC opened its doors to the uninsured in October 2005. Striving to follow Christ’s commands in the gospel of Matthew to "love God as He first loved us and to love others as we love ourselves", SMHC’s story is one of love, need, hope, compassion, commitment, collaboration and action.
Under the medical direction of Dr. Stanley Greenberg, the clinic initially was open sixteen to twenty hours per week. As the number of patient visits substantially increased as a result of tough economic times, the clinic expanded its hours of service. In July 2007, an on-site dental suite opened to provide preventative services in addition to offering extractions and restorations.
An opportunity to buy the building from DeKalb Health, coupled with a timely major donor gift, allowed SMHC to purchase our current facility in 2008. In 2010 the clinic increased its weekly open hours to 30-35 to care for those without health insurance. Limited vision service began in June 2011, targeting the diabetic population. A weekly general surgery clinic and a monthly pulmonary clinic were also added.
A fire on Good Friday 2013 caused severe interior building damage, resulting in a total loss of contents in the basement and severe smoke damage throughout the building. Our building was essentially gutted to its cement beams and steel structure. Within ten days of the fire, the clinic was set up in a temporary location at DeKalb Health. This allowed patient care to continue uninterrupted for 8 months. With the help of insurance and a great team of contractors and volunteers, the clinic re-opened in late 2013 with an all new look and feel. As one patient marveled, "I cannot imagine a nicer, more up to date clinic anywhere".
The story continues... In July 2016, SMHC opened its "doors" to neighboring Noble County residents who are without health insurance. Beginning in January 2017, DeKalb and Noble county residents who find themselves under-insured will have access to both medical and dental care at our clinic.
SMHC is not only alive and well, but continues to thrive and evolve during frequent unnerving times of change and uncertainty in America’s medical landscape. We continue to operate entirely on community support and without government funding. Our patient stories confirm the value and need for "our clinic". We pledge to continue to give people emotional support, love and hope as we strive to meet their healthcare needs.
Please enjoy this recent interview the Community Foundation of Noble County conducted with SMHC Executive Director, Tammy Ruger Stafford, RN BSN. (filmed in October 2021)
In this video, learn about our partnership with the Community Foundation of Noble County, beginning as an early stakeholder as we expanded service to Noble County. Tammy elegantly highlights, our mission and services, partnership with the community foundation, endowment fund, commitment to Noble County, and the importance of volunteerism, not only at our clinic but within organizations throughout the community!
History is written year and after year. Please, Enjoy!