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Fundraising underway for new Crawfordsville medical facility

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A new nonprofit effort is working to give medical care to uninsured Crawfordsville area residents.

The Montgomery County Free Clinic will offer general practice and dental services to patients with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level.

Board member Dr. Janet Rucker says the facility is named after Dr. Mary Ludwig, a longtime supporter of free medical services in the area.

"When she came to Crawfordsville to practice medicine, she found that she just couldn't charge people for her services. It was very difficult for her to charge for it."

Estimates put the number of qualifying patients as high as 5,000. Rucker says it will provide an important service to community members.

"There's this patient base that is not receiving care, has no medical home. And the need, in my mind, is overwhelming."

Fundraising for the project is underway, with nearly $150,000 raised toward an initial goal of $300,000. The Christian Nursing Service Board is the driving force behind the project, with help from a $900,000 North Central Health Services grant.

It will be staffed by volunteers and two part-time employees. Officials with the project also hope to use the facility to educate qualifying patients about medical issues.