Lift Up Springfield, Medical and Dental Mission Clinic
"Lift Up Someone Today (Lift Up Springfield)" was founded in 2014 by Dr. Tricia Derges, for the purpose of providing both medical and dental care to the poor and homeless of Springfield, SW Missouri, the community she has called home for almost 40 years. Lift Up Springfield will also serve patients in other county's and states that need help. Most of her years in the Springfield area were spent raising her family and providing jobs in her company to the needy and sheltered workshops. She created the community's first home bound work program designed for single moms, the elderly and people that were not able to hold down regular jobs due to poor health or other difficult circumstances. This community contribution was personally recognized by President George Bush in 2004.
"Lift Up Springfield" depends upon YOU.
Without YOU we can't exist.
Bless your life by "Lifting Up" another!
How "Lift Up Someone Today" Came To Be
After she and her husband finished raising their 8 children she made the decision to go to medical school at the age of 52, so that she could help people in a much bigger way. She was blessed to be able to do all of her clinical training in her hometown at Cox Hospital from 2012 - 2014, studying under some of the top doctors and surgeons in the state of Missouri. She is eternally grateful to these amazing doctors: Dr. Michael Galindo, Dr. Timothy Woods , Dr. William Moore, Dr. Anthony Richmond, Dr. Michael Hanks, Dr. James Gibson, Dr. Edgar Galinanes, Dr. Rebecca Farinas, Dr. Jamie Jones, and Dr. Salim Rahman.
Throughout her medical training she saw many people turned down for medical care because they either did not "qualify" (it's hard to qualify when you don't have an address because you live in a car or at the railroad tracks) or they simply could not afford the cost of the tiered income fees. Tricia also found that a large part of the illnesses in her patients was due to poor dental hygiene because they could not afford dental care. Time and time again she watched helplessly as patients simply went home to pull their own teeth with pliers. And the most sobering thing she found was that many of these people were once our teachers, community servants and veterans that had fought for our freedom, all had fallen on hard times. As a Christian and a physician that had been trained to take care of the sick and afflicted and who had participated in a medical mission to developing villages in Nicaragua, she decided that a medical mission, to include both medical and dental care was critically needed in Springfield. As she states "If we can provide this type of care in missions for others, there is no excuse for not providing it here".
Today, Lift Up Someone Today ("Lift Up Springfield") continunes to grow and has provided medical, dental, mental health, chiropractic and pain massage therapy to over 20,000 patients since it opened in January 2016. The clinic has now become a major educational and clinical training resource to medical and nursing students throughout Missouri. "Lift Up Springfield" has been blessed to have so many wonderful volunteers: doctors, dentist, nurses, counselors from Burrell Mental Health, dental hygienist and assistants, pharmacist, office staff, medical students, interpreters, nursing and dental students, businesses, colleges, schools and churches that make our "Lift Up" lunches, energy, those that give supplies, medicines and open up their wallets to help "Lift Up" their fellow man.
Lift Up's is now listed as a follow up source for all area emergency rooms, correctional facilities, shelters, violence - battered women centers and Veterans organizations. Lift Up has opened up 3 more locations (E. Springfield, Ozark and Branson) for the "Working Person". It provides inexpensive medical care to those that have jobs but no insurance or insurance with extremely high deductibles. Lift Up Springfield expanded into a larger facility in January 2018, so that more people can be helped. Dr. Derges is very grateful for those who can help sponsor the clinic so that the needed equipment, medicines and supplies can be acquired. Lift Up Someone Today is a 501c3 non-profit organization. All monies stay here in our community to take care of those in need throughout SW Missouri. The clinic works strictly off of volunteers so all monies go to the needs of our patients. Lift up has provided a tremendous impact of over 4.3 Million Dollars annually to our community. For every dollar we receive, we are able to make an impact of $68 to the community.
Your help will truly touch the lives of many, many people and your life will be blessed! Promise!
She has been referred to as a "modern day" Patch Adams. Tricia states that she is honored by that comparison. "Patch Adams set the example that all doctor's should try and emulate. It is up to us to bring hope into our patients lives and we can only do that through the human touch. This means laughing, crying, and listening to our patients so that they know how important they really are. There is not a day that goes by that I don't see people that have literally been forgotten and believe they are not important to anyone."
This clinic has been such a becon of light to so many. Tricia will tell you that she sees the lives of both patients and volunteers change every single week. She will always tell you that the "clinic is like a great drug that you can't get enough of. We go non-stop for 12 hours or more on most days: never sitting down, never eating or finding the bathroom, but you never even notice! You never get tired of watching pain turn into a smile".
In March of 2017, Dr. Derges was awarded the Jefferson Award for SW Missouri and then was awarded the elite National Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award in Washington DC. Only 5 recipients in the United States receive this honor annually. Dr. Derges has been the only recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis award in Missouri history. Past winners include Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw and Mariano Rivera. This award is considered the Nobel Peace Prize for community service.
In March of 2018, Lift Up Springfield was awarded the top new Non-profit in SW Missouri and Dr. Derges was awarded top three Non-Profit CEO's by Drury University Center for Non-Profits in Springfield. In December of 2018, Dr. Derges was named the 2018 Springfield Humanitarian of the Year.
The vision of Dr. Derges is to expand Lift Up Someone Today to include many more needed resources. A housing unit for the homeless which would provide job training, education and life skills. It would also incorporate a drug treatment program for opioids, alcohol and meth. The facility would also house a small manufacturing company that would provide jobs for the tennants, allowing the profits from the sales of the product go directly to help support Lift Up. The Medical and Dental Clinic, complete with modern equipment and supplies, would then be relocated into the facility.
Dr. Derges has currently submitted several bills to the Missouri House and Senate for the 2019 session which will provide CME credits to the dentist and doctors that volunteer at the clinic - thereby insuring there are always volunteers to help our neighbors! Please watch for and ask your House and Senate representative to vote to support this bill!