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ST. STEPHEN -- A Berkeley County free health clinic will use a $50,000 grant to see more patients without insurance.

The Sumpter Free Health Clinic sees about two dozen patients most Tuesday evenings. The grant will allow the clinic to see patients on Thursdays also, as well as hire a part-time nurse practitioner and buy supplies and equipment, resources director Libba Carroll said.

The grant is from The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, which supports free health clinics.

Doctors and nurses volunteer their time at the clinic, and many agencies donate equipment and supplies. The big need now is for more doctors and nurses to volunteer, Carroll said.

"We are in desperate need of doctors that are willing to donate their time at the clinic," she said. "It can be as little as four hours once every few months or as much as they might want to participate. It is time well spent."

The clinic will start seeing patients next week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays, as well as from 5:30 to 9 p.m. the first four Tuesdays of the month. The hours could be changed to accommodate doctors who could volunteer on different days, Carroll said.

The Dream Center Clinic in North Charleston also received a grant, according to BlueCross BlueShield.

Another grant will allow the S.C. Colon Cancer Prevention and Surveillance Network to offer colorectal screening at free clinics in Anderson, Charleston, Lexington, Richland and Spartanburg counties.

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