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OU-COM Free Clinic now offers dermatology care

Dawn Sammons, D.O., volunteers her time to treat uninsured

Dawn Sammons, D.O., performs an in-office procedure on Oakview Dermatology patient Keith Swart. Sammons is volunteering her services monthly at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Free Clinic.

November 23, 2010

(Athens, OH)  Dawn Sammons, D.O. (’03), of Oakview Dermatology, is now volunteering her services in the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine Free Clinic. Uninsured and underinsured Southeast Ohio residents can now receive dermatology care free of charge. 

“We’ve been seeing a lot of skin pathology -- skin cancers, diseases -- and not everyone can afford to treat these problems,” Sammons said, noting that while many skin problems seem trivial or cosmetic, it is often important to treat them early to prevent them from growing into more serious problems.

 At the free dermatology clinic, Sammons will diagnose and treat dermatological conditions. On the fourth Tuesday of every month Sammons will provide medical care to adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who have no form of health insurance and who also meet income guidelines. Residents of Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Morgan, Perry and Washington counties can call (800) 844-2654 or (740) 593-2432 to find out if they qualify or to schedule an appointment.

Some patients who are diagnosed can be treated on site. For more complicated cases and further surgeries, the clinic uses their Patient Navigational Services. This allows them to link individuals needing further treatment, when possible, with reduced-cost services through local agencies or Ohio State.

“It’s so important to this community because there aren’t very many dermatologists in the area, and they are very costly to see,” said Diana Kasler, a nurse coordinator for the college’s Community Health Programs and the Free Clinic.

Sammons said she wanted to see Free Clinic patients as a way to give back to her community of more than 20 years. She graduated as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from OU-COM in 2003 and went on to complete her internship and dermatology residency program at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in 2008, where she served as chief dermatology resident. In addition to her practice, Oakview Dermatology, Sammons is also an associate clinical professor at both OU-COM and West Virginia's School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Kathy Trace, director of Community Health Programs, herself a patient of Sammons, emphasizes the importance of Sammons’ services. “(Sammons) has it all: knowledge, skill, compassion and good management skills. We are fortunate to have her,” Trace said.

While grants and funding from organizations like the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund and the Ohio Association of Free Clinics pay for supplies, the free clinic relies on local physicians such as Sammons who donate their time, according to Kasler. Scott Jenkinson, D.O., also volunteers his time to the clinic by providing free pathology services. He is able to provide biopsies at cost, which is in turn, free to patients.

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Last updated: 01/28/2016