Franciscan Health Catherine McAuley Clinic in Hammond marks 25th anniversary • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
McAuley Clinic

Franciscan Health Catherine McAuley Clinic in Hammond marks 25th anniversary

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Franciscan Health Catherine McAuley Clinic is located at 5530 Hohman Ave. in Hammond. (Photo provided by Franciscan Health)

More than two decades later, staff and volunteers of Franciscan Health Catherine McAuley Clinic in Hammond remain committed to providing care access to the underserved and uninsured.

Staff and supporters recently celebrated the clinic’s 25-year milestone at its location at 5530 Hohman Ave. The Franciscan Health Foundation also launched an anniversary fundraiser to continue the clinic’s work.

“Our mission from the beginning until now has been to serve the people that don’t have access to healthcare,” said Helen Thoesen, McAuley Clinic board president, who trained the volunteers and worked the front desk when the clinic first opened.

“Everyone is treated with kindness and dignity,” she said. “Patients have said they’ve never had as good healthcare as they had at McAuley Clinic.”

Thoesen credited Martha Kozub, a nurse practitioner, who also has been with the clinic since the beginning, for wearing many hats, including clinic manager.

Kozub is fluent in Spanish, assisting with care for the Hispanic community. “Martha, she’s really the reason the clinic is such a wonderful place,” Thoesen said.

Kozub said the clinic didn’t have computers in the beginning, relying on paper charts and files.

“We’ve seen lots of changes, ups and downs,” she said. “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had our volunteers.”

While nurse practitioners and medical assistants provide much of the day-to-day care at the clinic, volunteer physicians also see patients.

“It’s lifesaving for many, because issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure are prevalent in the population we serve, and if they don’t have treatment, it creates life-threatening issues,” Thoesen said.

Retired physician Dr. Art Branco assisted with setting up the clinic and continues to serve on the board and assist with fundraisers. He credits the clinic’s success to the volunteer medical staff and professional nursing staff he calls his heroes.

“In a time of stress, they continue to do their job. I think it’s one of the resources that, over 25 years, has served the community well,” Branco said.


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