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Health center fills vital need

April 5, 2012
The Herald-Star

The willingness of area residents to step up and help their neighbors in need was on display once again Sunday night at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.

The event was the sixth-annual Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center Gala, and more than 400 people attended.

Thanks to the money generated by the gala, the clinic is able to continue its mission of providing health care to uninsured residents of Jefferson County.

Honored during the evening were individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to the success of the center, which is under the capable direction of Ann Quillen, the executive director.

Kathi Connor-Harris was named as this year's medical honoree. A registered nurse since 1983, Connor-Harris has volunteered at the center for the past two years. She played a large role in establishing the center's off-site clinic in Mount Pleasant.

Patricia Fletcher, who has served on the center's board of directors since its inception, was recognized as the volunteer of the year. The retired educator developed the idea of the annual gala and the young ambassadors program.

The members of the Starkdale Presbyterian Church were chosen as the community honorees for their faithful support of the center.

Special recognition went to this year's class of young ambassadors, area high school students who helped raise money for the center. The program helps the participants learn about philanthropy and fundraising skills. The ambassadors also volunteer at the center.

Much of the success of this year's gala can be traced to the efforts of Mary and Andy Mihalyo, who served as co-chairs.

The center, which opened its doors at 701 N. Fourth St. in Steubenville on March 13, 2006, continues to grow, and plans are under way to offer free dental services and a mental health clinic.

Congratulations, then, to everyone who helped with this year's gala and to all who make it possible for the health center to continue on its vital mission.

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