When SET Family Medical Clinics closed the doors at St. Francis Hospital on Pikes Peak Avenue in June, the hospital stood empty for the first time since 1887.
It also signaled a new beginning for SET, which for more than 20 years has provided a free medical clinic for the uninsured, walk-in medical for the homeless and a program to help ex-cons re-enter the community.
On July 31, the 20th anniversary of the program's evening clinics, staff, board members, volunteers and community supporters officially opened the clinic's new location at 2864 S. Circle Drive, Suite 450.
The new site, said Executive Director Peggy Herbertson, has additional room needed for a rapidly increasing patient load and room to sustain the evening clinic.
Three people were working at the St. Francis site when evening clinics started. Sister Barbara Jean Krekeler's focus was nursing when she was launched into an organizational role as well. Dr. Dale Kemmerer found the new project when a teen came into Redi Care for an X-ray before football season. The doctor realized there was no facility that could help people who couldn't pay.
Learning about SET when Sister Barbara Counts spoke to a Rotary Club, he "met with Sister (Barbara Jean)," and he and Dr. Lynn Beaulieu asked if they could vounteer. "Here we came with ourselves and our stethoscopes," Beaulieu said, and the rest is history.