Local medical caregivers to speak at Health Partners Gala




PIQUA — Two longtime local medical caregivers will be the featured speakers at the Health Partners Free Clinic Seventh annual Healing Jar Gala dinner and art auction Wednesday at the Piqua Country Club. Funds raised from the event will provide continued support for the lone free medical clinic having served Miami County for the past 16 years.

For the second year, clinic leaders are joining with the Piqua Arts Council with the opportunity to offset costs of the clinic. PAC Executive Director Jordan Knepper said the council and artists believe in the services provided by Health Partners and welcome the collaboration.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. James Burkhardt, D.O., of Piqua, who will comment on community service and the healthcare industry. In a video presentation, JoAnn Barhorst, Nurse Practitioner, of Tipp City, will speak on her years of serving a community in need of free health care.

Burkhardt received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wright State University, and, Doctor of Osteopathy from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He began practicing medicine with Upper Valley Family Care in 1986, and became the Piqua High School team physician that same year.

He began his community service in 1999 as the Medical Director for Miami County Public Health, as well as joining the Health Partners Board of Directors, and the Piqua Education Foundation Board of Directors in 2005.

Burkhardt married his first wife, Cheryl in 1983. They have two sons, Mike and Brad. He serves on multiple committees for Upper Valley Medical Center, Piqua Arts Council, and many other civic and charitable organizations within Piqua and the Miami County.

He is the chairman and founder of the “Down the River, Down a Beer” fundraising event that began in 2014.

Barhorst graduated from the Miami Valley Hospital School of Nursing in 1974 and went on to spend nearly 25 years working in the emergency room. In 1993, she graduated from Franklin University, and completed her Masters of Nursing with Adult Nurse Practitioner specialty in 1998.

One year later, she began her involvement with the newly incorporated Health Partners as a volunteer. After 14 years of full-time employment at the local county jail, Barhorst decided to join the Health Partners Free Clinic full time staff in 2013.

Barhorst, and her husband, Marvin, have five sons in their blended family. They recently became grandparents with the birth of their two granddaughters this past year.

She enjoys reading, Zumba, beating the men at Euchre, and following the Ohio State Buckeyes. She believes strongly in mentoring the young in the community. In addition to Nurse Practitioner students, she participates in the Montgomery County College Promise program and currently serves as a mentor of a student from Wayne High School in Huber Heights.

Justin Coby, Health Partners Executive Director, expects this year’s event to top all others. Last year, a record-setting level of giving totaled more than $17,000 net in overall donations, nearly tripling the amount in 2013.

Coby said the response from area artists and those known throughout art circles has been tremendous. “All have been given from the heart focusing on the true purpose of the clinic,” he said.

In 2015, the clinic treated 906 unduplicated patients, which equated into 3,359 physician appointments. Coby also noted the clinic provided some 2,223 patient lab/diagnosis; and 8,654 clinic-dispensed free prescriptions valued at more than $1 million. Overall, the clinic provided $4.32 in medical services for every $1 spent.

For additional information, contact the clinic at (937) 332-0894, Ext. 208, or by email at Justin@healthpartnersclinic.org. The clinic website is www.healthpartnersclinic.org; and can be found on Facebook at www/facebook.com/healthpartnersfreeclinic.