It has come to our attention that clarification is needed concerning the Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic’s current policy on face-to-face office visits, and our request for proof of COVID-19 vaccination.  We know many people have strong opinions concerning the COVID-19 vaccination.  As physicians that have cared for many of you and raised our families in this community, we have endured months of seeing our fellow Hill County residents suffer and die from this deadly virus.  We have been at the bedside as families watch their parent, son, daughter, or spouse die.  It doesn’t matter where you might get your statistics, we have seen firsthand the benefits of the vaccine in saving lives. So much so, that it severely saddens us when we see our friends and our neighbors decline the vaccine. We will not debate the merits or flaws of the vaccines on this platform. Those that are truly open to that discussion can easily reach out to their personal physician for those details.

As for the Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic that has served this county faithfully since 2015, I feel some clarification is needed to combat significant misinformation on social media. We are not abandoning anyone who qualifies for free medical care.  This pandemic has presented us with numerous challenges.  As volunteer physicians, unfortunately our tireless work in the hospital the past few months has deprived us of the time required to staff the Mission Clinic for in-person visits until recently. Now that we have time available to directly provide care in-person, we have to be mindful that our clinic is completely staffed by volunteers that work long hours on weekends to show Christ’s love to those in need.  Many of these volunteers are of retirement age and some are considered high-risk for significant complications if they contract COVID-19.  While the vaccine can certainly protect them from serious complications (as we have clearly seen and statistics have verified), ANY risk posed to our precious volunteers that could be prevented is UNACCEPTABLE to us physicians. Unfortunately, we have some patients that have not answered the COVID-19 screening questions truthfully in the past and find their way in our office face-to-face with our staff with active COVID-19.  We are happy to continue to care for all that qualify for free medical care via phone call and even examining them in their vehicles, but to be seen inside our office (with masks) we currently ask that you provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.  While all measures to prevent infection are not perfect, the added layers of vaccination, screening questions and masks give us some peace of mind that we are not putting our volunteers at unnecessary risk of contracting a deadly virus that could have been prevented. 

We love our community and strive to share the love of Christ though our efforts. We put faith in our sovereign God, that He has a divine plan for all of us through this ongoing pandemic.  We will also continue to use every avenue of assistance he provides from protective equipment, medications and even vaccines to further His ministry in Hill County. As the physicians and medical directors of this clinic, we ask that any future insults and negative comments be directed away from our volunteers and staff who have tirelessly devoted their time without any compensation (except the occasional cake or tamales that our patients might provide), and I hope that even those that have been critical realize if you ever find yourself in need of free medical care, we will be here by phone, curbside or in-person to share with you the love of Christ through medical care.  We thank all of you that support our mission through donations, volunteering and most importantly through your prayers.

Sincerely,

Jeremiah Seely, MD
James Earhart, MD

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