Welcome Our New Volunteer Jessica

January 25, 2018

Jessica Oakes is a Registered Dietitian. Coming from Wayne County, Indiana, she attended Purdue University for 4 years. In May of 2017, Jessica graduated from Purdue with a major in Nutrition and Dietetics paired with a minor in Spanish. She then finished her dietetic internship, 1200 hours of supervised practice, to become a Registered Dietitian. She got married in September.

Jessica began helping the Montgomery County Free Clinic in October and now she will be making visits twice a month to help educate and guide people with their diet. She helps people who suffer from a health condition that limits their diet or those who just want to start eating healthier. She enjoys her work most when her patients develop the motivation to make a change in their diet. Some of the help she provides include how to read food labels, MyPlate dietary needs, as well as education on the patients’ specific health conditions. Using her Spanish minor, she is even able to help those who only speak Spanish. 

Thank you Jessica for Volunteering!

Keeping the Alexander-Murray health care bill in context

October 28, 2017

Keeping the Alexander-Murray health care bill in context
This article sets the record straight regarding the legislation currently being considered by Congress.

Keeping the Alexander-Murray health care bill in context

As the debate unfolds about the bipartisan bill by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray to repair the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, the public could be just as confused as they have been about the ACA’s marketplaces. That’s why it’s important to debate it in the right context: It’s aimed at an urgent problem affecting a relatively small sliver of the health insurance system, not all of the ACA and not the entire health system.

The bottom line: It’s a limited measure that will never give conservatives or liberals everything they want.

Who will be affected if insurance companies…

Only those who buy

their own insurance

Only those with

employer plans

Everyone with

health insurance

…choose not to

sell ACA plans




…raise ACA





Don’t know/

no answer

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll conducted Oct. 5-10, 2017; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Reality check: Many people will think it affects their insurance when, in actuality, it will have no impact on the vast majority of Americans who get their coverage outside of the relatively small ACA marketplaces.

The chart based on
our new Kaiser Tracking Poll shows the confusion. Just 23% of the American people know that rising premiums in the ACA marketplaces affect only people who buy their own insurance. More than seven out of 10 wrongly believe rising premiums in the marketplaces affect everyone or people who get coverage through their employer.

The public will be susceptible to spin and misrepresentation of the limited goals of Alexander-Murray: a bipartisan effort to stabilize the marketplaces by funding the cost-sharing reduction subsidies, providing more resources for open enrollment outreach, and expediting state waivers.

President Trump has added to the confusion. He recently pronounced the ACA “dead”, adding, “there is no such thing as Obamacare anymore.” Possibly that’s because he wishes it was dead. More likely, he was referring to the problems in the ACA marketplaces, which he has exaggerated.

Like thinking your whole house is falling down when just a part of the foundation needs shoring up, both he and the American people have an inaccurate picture of where the marketplaces fit in the ACA and where the ACA fits in the health system.

A few facts:

  • There are just 10 million people enrolled in the ACA marketplaces.
  • The law’s larger Medicaid expansion and consumer protections are popular and working well.
  • The far larger Medicare and Medicaid programs and employer based health system combined cover more than 250 million people, and are largely unaffected by developments in the ACA marketplaces.
  • Premiums for the 155 million people who get coverage through their employers rose a very modest 3% in 2017.

Some conservatives in Congress will hold out for repeal, and they’ll resist any legislation that they view as propping up Obamacare. But for everyone else, it’s important to understand the problem and get the facts.

Tags: insurance, ppaca
October 27, 2017 at 07:00PM
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In Memory of Dr. Paul Ludwig, 1925-2017

October 15, 2017

Paul Ludwig-physician, mentor and friend-died on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. His obituary is published in Friday’s papers – Paul Ludwig Obituary. John Roberts, the Chief Medical Officer of the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic , and I want to share our thoughts and memories of Paul on behalf of the entire Montgomery County Free Clinic organization.

Bill Doemel, Executive Director, Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc.

I knocked on the door of the Ludwig Home in Sycamore Hills. It was 2010 and a number of us were talking about establishing a new clinic. Paul greeted me at the door and welcomed me to their home. I was there to talk with Dr. Mary, his wife, about Christian Nursing Service (CNS), the organization that she helped found. Paul invited me to come into their living room and sit on a sofa across from him and Dr. Mary. Dr. Mary began the conversation by talking about her life with Paul. She met Paul while they were both in medical school at the University of Virginia. She said that Paul “swept me off my feet.” Both of them graduated from the University of Virginia. She was the first woman to receive an M.D. from that institution. As she talked, Paul beamed.

When Paul received an invitation to come to the IU School of Medicine for an internship in ophthalmology, Dr. Mary went too, also hoping to receive an internship in family medicine. She didn’t because she was a woman and “women shouldn’t be doctors”. So Dr. Mary volunteered her services to helping families in Indianapolis and began her career of service.

After completing his internship, Paul imagined going to a large city and establishing a practice. He heard that Dr. Jack Alexander, in Crawfordsville, was looking for a partner. He decided to visit and with Mary came to Crawfordsville. Dr. Mary said that when they reached the corner where the A&P Grocery Store was located (E. Market and Darlington Ave.), she turned to Paul and said that this is where we should establish a home and raise our children.

Paul smiled and told me that Mary was very persuasive. So Paul and Mary came to Crawfordsville and changed our lives for the better. Paul joined with Dr. Alexander to begin his career and Dr. Mary joined with six other women to begin the Christian Nursing Service.

Strange, how I find myself referring to Mary as Dr. Mary and forgetting the Dr. When I talk about Paul. Paul never was my physician although he certainly helped my son. After Dr. Mary died, Paul and I became good friends regularly meeting and having lunch to talk about life and, of course, the Clinic. When my son and wife died, Paul called and we went to lunch. He told me that he was dying and didn’t have long to live. We talked about family, about death, about love and about the Clinic. He comforted me and I hope I did the same for him.

John Roberts, Chief Medical Officer, Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc.

Paul was in the later stages of his career when I came to Crawfordsville, so I did not know him well in medical circles. However, I was fortunate enough to socialize with both him and Dr. Mary through my acquaintance with his daughter Julie. I have many fond memories of the pool parties he and Mary hosted through the years. He was always interested in what others were doing, especially their children. I also found myself on the other side of the tennis net playing against him and his “older” friends on a number of occasions. He was always a fierce competitor and gracious when beating down his opponents. I understand his golf skills weren’t too shabby either. In the latter weeks of his life, I was fortunate to have end of life conversations with him and listened as he regaled both me and my wife with the adventures both he and Mary had throughout their incredible lives. He and Mary epitomized what all physicians should aspire to be – knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, and strong threads in the fabric of their community. I think the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic has, and continues to, carry on their legacy.

We , the Board, the staff and the patients of Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc. will miss Paul as we miss Mary. Both of them changed our lives just as they changed the lives of so many in Montgomery County. We extend our thoughts, prayers and condolences to Julie, Amy, Wendy, Will, and their children. God speed, Paul.

Outgoing Board Members Recognized

July 6, 2017

Rebecca Lang, L, with president Harry Siamas. Rebecca was a founding member of MCFC and served on the board since its inception in 2008. In her time as Montgomery County Health Nurse, she was instrumental in the development of the Free Clinic and worked closely with MCFC to provide immunizations and other much-needed services.

Rick Warner, R, with Harry Siamas. Rick served two years on the board of MCFC, and continues to run our signature fund-raising event, Dining With The Chefs. His enthusiasm and dedication have been a tremendous help in raising money to provide health and dental care for neighbors in need.


Rev. Gary Lewis, L, with Harry Siamas, served on the MCFC board for many years. He was involved with the initial planning and site location, and he was helpful in serving as liaison to the local ministerial society.

Wabash APO Comes Through for MCFC

May 23, 2016

Nicholas Morin of Wabash College’s APO service fraternity recently delivered a check for $1,000 to Dr. Janet Rucker, chief dental officer for MCFC. Nicholas has volunteered as a scribe for the clinic. Scribes take care of documentation during patient visits, so our doctors and nurses can focus on the interaction with the patient. 

Our Hearts Are Broken

February 24, 2016

In memory of Dr. Mary Grace Ludwig, 9/3/1926- 2/21/2016

Our Clinic’s namesake and inspiration, Dr. Mary Ludwig, passed away peacefully at her home this week. She was instrumental in the development of the Christian Nursing Service and Well Baby Clinic, which grew into the Montgomery County Free Clinic in 2012.

Link to her obituary: http://www.journalreview.com/obituaries/article_ba4cdf7c-d9ea-11e5-ba41-6f4d63c97fdd.html

 To donate to the MCFC in memory of Dr. Mary: https://www.mcfreeclinic.org/contribution/

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic, Dr. Mary shared a favorite quote from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes which motivated her throughout her career.

Wabash Always Delivers

June 17, 2015

Pictured L to R: Denzel Wilkins, Adrienne Ashbaugh, Kathy Gary, and A.J. Akinribade. Wilkins and Akinribade are Wabash College seniors who graduated in May, 2015. They delivered Meals on Wheels to homebound Montgomery County residents this semester. Ashbaugh and Gary package meals at Franciscan St. Elizabeth-Crawfordsville each Thursday to prepare them for delivery.

Little Giants Fund-raising

April 8, 2015

Fund-raising is a critical part of keeping the Montgomery CountyFree Clinic operating. This past weekend, the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) of Wabash College hosted the annual Philly Cheesesteak Festival to help raise some money for the clinic. This year the MSA raised over $1100. The Muslim Students’ Association is a long-standing organization at Wabash, which is a part of a collective organization organized by Muslim college students. It aims to raise awareness of Islam on campus and to dispel commonly-held misconceptions of this great world religion. Muslims and non-Muslims alike from all walks of life, cultures, races and ethnic groups join together to strengthen brotherhood and promote humane living. This is accomplished through lectures, social events, and charitable events such as the Philly Cheesesteak Festival. All with an open mind and a willingness to learn about Islam are welcome to join and help inform others of Islamic culture. Come out next year to help support the MCFC, learn more about the MSA from the Little Giants, and enjoy some great Philly Cheesesteak.

Faith, Family and Farming

February 12, 2015

by Paula Reed, Montgomery County Community Foundation

Clark and Nancy Sennett are content to not wander too far from home. The peaceful rural landscape surrounding their home is framed by fertile farmland, barns, and prize-winning cattle. Inside their home are many treasured keepsakes handed down through the generations and numerous photographs of beloved family members. There is also a vast array of tractors, replicas of all makes and models, all very meaningful to Clark. But one particular gray tractor with a tiny chicken sitting on top holds special significance for the Sennett family.

Nancy and Clark Sennett

The story that provides the backdrop for Clark’s history as a farmer all starts with a chicken and a 9 N Ford tractor. Clark’s dad, Merle Sennett, bought a tractor in 1939 for $650 and then in 1942, he left the farm to serve in WWII. In January of 1943, Clark’s grandfather, Clarence Sennett, was tragically killed in a mill accident, which left his grandmother, Blanche Sennett, to take care of the farm. Times were hard and resources were scarce and eventually the tractor went up for sale at an auction. During the war auctions were held somewhat like a lottery; prices were preset on certain items and the names of those interested were put in a box and the winner drawn out. However, that procedure did not apply to livestock. J. D. Campbell, auctioneer from Linden, told those in attendance, “Folks, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to set this chicken on top of the tractor and we’re going to bid on this chicken and whoever gets the chicken gets the tractor.” When it was all over, the chicken sold for $2,400, the amount owed on the farm, and the rest is a family legacy.

Tractor and Chicken

Clark and Nancy desired to leave their own legacy as well and recently established the Clark and Nancy Sennett Fund at the Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF). It is an unrestricted fund that supports a wide variety of needs and causes in our community. Nancy admits that until she became a MCCF board member, she never really understood the significance of an endowment. But now she says, “It’s not just a one-time donation that’s quickly forgotten, but an ongoing investment in the future. Endowed funds are a permanent way to support the community and make an impact where you live long after you’re gone.”

Nancy shares a story of how this impact became crystal clear to her. Many years ago, Edith Botts and her invalid husband owned a farm just a stone’s throw from the Sennett farm. Clark’s dad farmed the Bott’s farm until their deaths, at which time he inherited that farm. Through a bequest set up by Edith, a nursing scholarship in her name was established and eventually transferred to the MCCF. Just last spring, a student from North Montgomery high school was a recipient of the Botts scholarship and she called Nancy in tears and poured out her gratitude for this award. The student went on to say that without this scholarship, college would not have been possible. Nancy says that Mrs. Botts would have been so pleased that the investment she made years ago is still making a difference today.

Clark and Nancy believe that there are many people in Montgomery County who desire to make a difference; their generosity is one of the greatest things about living here. Regardless of the situation, resources quickly come together and needs are met. The establishment and success of the Montgomery County Free Clinic is just one example, and the overwhelming response to the recent Lilly Endowment matching gift program at the MCCF is another. Nancy says that one of their own personal reasons for giving is the belief that, “to whom much is given, much is required. We are only stewards of all that we’ve been given.”

The Sennetts say that they have been blessed in many ways. Clark descended from a long line of hard-working farmers and cattlemen and he is proud of that heritage and the satisfying life it brings to him and his family. Nancy’s grandparents showed her unconditional love and acceptance and possessed a “don’t quit” attitude that spoke volumes to her. From these seeds planted early in life, a philosophy of faith, family and farming took root and became the Sennett tenet. It has sustained them well during their 42 years of marriage.

Those principles continue to guide the entire Sennett family. Both of their grown children are now leaving their own imprint in the soil of Montgomery and Fountain Counties as they farm the land. Their son, Lance, and his family are partners in the very successful farming and cattle operation which began in 1890. And their grandchildren, a great source of pride and joy for Clark and Nancy, have won numerous awards as they have shown Sennett cattle at various fairs across the country. Generations of a rich Sennett history that continues – all because of a chicken and a tractor.

Posted with permission of Montgomery County Community Foundation