By Clint Confehr

NASHVILLE, TN — Emergency funds to counteract COVID-19 by the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center will last through fall.

That’s according to Katina Beard, CEO of the health center with sites in Nashville, Smyrna, Clarksville and a mobile clinic. Matthew Walker, headquartered on 14th at Jefferson, has an annual budget of $12 million.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act separately provided $1.5 million to address COVID-19.

“This funding was vital to us because our patient population is about 55% uninsured,” Beard said in a conference with Cooper. “It allowed us to increase our purchasing of cleaning supplies, our personal protective equipment, and improve our digital (equipment) to have zoom meetings and provide tele-health for patients.”

Beard is stretching CARES money.

“We anticipate we will be able to continue paying staff from this funding through the end of the fall,” she said. “Throughout this pandemic, we have not had to lay off any of our staff,” so service continues as before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Aug. 10-14 is National Health Center Week, ending Friday with a COVID-19 drive-up testing station on 14th Street. Participants will also receive a packet with a face mask and hand sanitizer. Patient Appreciation Day is Aug. 10 and Staff Appreciation Days are Aug. 11-12.

Clint Confehr

Clint Confehr — an American journalist since 1972 — first wrote for The Tennessee Tribune in 1999. His news writing and photography in South Central Tennessee and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical...