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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Faith healing

Congregation-run clinic provides health care to rural uninsured

Majestic mountains, sparkling rivers, unspoiled forests, awesome skies — these magnets draw tourists to the area around Glacier National Park in Montana's northwest corner.

But life in nature's paradise is less than grand for many financially struggling residents. A thriving tourist industry creates jobs, but they tend to be seasonal, low-wage and without health insurance.

In the early 1990s, clinics and hospitals witnessed a surge in noninsured people seeking — and often not receiving — health care. Some 30 percent of Flathead County residents were without coverage, according to members of Christ Lutheran Church, Whitefish, who found the figure unacceptable.


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