For many years, Lincoln Countians with limited financial resources relied on Helping Hands Clinic for necessary medical care. The original Helping Hands Clinic started in 2002 in the current location of the Housing Authority with one small space with a curtain for privacy. The clinic was given a building on Dave Warlick Drive in 2003. The clinic was started by many different people and manned by a group of willing volunteers (doctors/nurses/others) in the community.
The clinic lacked funding to expand its services--and relying totally on volunteer help, it had difficulty trying to meet the growing needs. In March 2010, Gaston Family Health Services took over the operation.
For several years, Helping Hands operated in the annex building adjacent to the former Lincoln County Hospital--now the Lincoln County Health Department.
Then in January of last year, GFHS-Lincolnton moved into its current location just down the street on Gamble Drive.
For anyone not familiar, Gaston Family Health Services was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1991. GFHS saw its first patients in 1992 at a location in the Gaston County Health Department building on Hudson Blvd. in Gastonia. GFHS now operates programs and practices in Gaston, Lincoln, Iredell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Alexander and Forsyth counties. The specific services vary by county. In Lincoln County, GFHS operates the clinic and pharmacy near the Health Department and Lincoln Dental Services, also on Gamble Drive just off Country Club Road.
The name had become confusing to some: why was it called GASTON Family Health Services when it was operating Catawba Valley Family Medicine in Maiden, Claremont and Taylorsville? Or the Nest Family Counseling in Mocksville? Or Statesville Family Medicine?
The Board of Directors approved a name change--and effective April 2nd, Gaston Family Health Services will be known as Kintegra.
The name is changing, but the mission will remain the same. Kintegra will continue to be a community sponsored, family-centered provider of health care, health education and preventive care services provided without regard for one's ability to pay.
Kintegra sees a variety of patients. Some of them have Medicare, some have Medicaid, others may have private insurance; and some have no insurance at all. Kintegra works closely with area hospitals and health departments to make sure that people who need medical (and dental) care get it.
During the current COVID-19 epidemic, Kintegra, like most other medical offices, is handling patient visits by telephone where possible. Existing patients and others who may want to see a doctor should call 704-874-3316 to schedule an appointment. The dental practice at Lincoln Dental Services is--like most other dental offices--only seeing emergency cases (broken tooth, lost crown, etc.) until the current crisis is over.