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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Philanthropist donates $1 million to Free Clinic
Guy and Betty Beatty provide funds for new facility
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Courtesy Photo: Lois Macdonald, the executive director of the Free Clinic of Franklin County, stands with Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten Monday as they announce a gift of $1 million to the clinic.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Guy E. Beatty and his wife, Betty, have presented a $1 million gift to the Free Clinic of Franklin County.

Beatty, a longtime friend of Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten, is founder and chair of The Beatty Companies, headquartered in Northern Virginia.

The Free Clinic, which was established in 1992 in one room of the STEP Building in Rocky Mount, will use the funds to build a new 7,100-square-foot facility to expand health care services for residents of Franklin County.

The Clinic has begun preliminary discussions with Mod-U-Kraf, a modular housing company in Rocky Mount, for the design of the facility.

Braaten, who made the announcement Friday, said the kindness and generosity of Guy and Betty Beatty will be transformative for the residents of Franklin County.

Beatty is a supporter of Ferrum College and benefactor to the Virginia College Fund of which Ferrum is a founding member. Beatty and Braaten have been in conversation for the last five years regarding the possibility of bringing a clinic to the area.

"Our community will benefit for years to come through Guy's desire to share his blessings with us," said Braaten. "It is a great privilege for me to have worked with him to secure this tremendous gift for those in need of quality health care in Franklin County."

As a successful entrepreneur, Beatty has been responsible for the development of 40 companies in fields that include real estate development, music and entertainment. Beatty's charitable intentions are manifested in various rural communities within the United States, as well as in Africa, Costa Rica and other locales around the world.

Beatty's vision is to provide access to quality healthcare to those who have little or no access to such services, Braaten said. It is his belief that the care should be provided in the context of an attractive environment and in a setting that reflects compassion, service and quality.

Since the Free Clinic's inception, it has grown into a full-time operation supported by a small core of employees and a large number of volunteers. The Free Clinic receives no federal funds, nor does it charge for services.

Through partnerships with the Virginia Association of Free Clinics, Rx Partnership Foundation, Virginia Health Care Foundation, United Way, Carilion, local churches and other agencies, the clinic is able to offer quality health care at a substantially reduced cost.

The Clinic relies heavily on volunteer physicians and community donations to provide its services. In 2012, The Free Clinic of Franklin County assisted over 2,200 patients.

"Franklin County has one of Virginia's highest uninsured populations (18.5 percent - over 10,800 people)," said Lois Macdonald, executive director of the Free Clinic. "Through the generosity of Guy and Betty Beatty, the expansion of our clinic will allow the center to accommodate at least 5,000 patients each year."

"We are grateful for the support of the community and, especially for the assistance of Jennifer Braaten, whose intercession was vital in the completion of this partnership to expand primary care services in Franklin County," Macdonald added.

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