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Georgia woman volunteers nearly 500 hours at free medical clinic

Every week Martha Wassum checks in patients, conducts eligibility interviews and even goes above and beyond finding food and housing for patients. (Image: Tom Brown)

A medical clinic in Dalton, Georgia is providing free health care to hundreds of families.

The non-profit is run by 70 volunteers and one in particular has won the hearts of the clinic's patients.

In this week's Pay It Forward, Newschannel 9's Jessica Harthorn surprises the woman who spent nearly 500 hours last year serving others in need.

Since the DEO clinic in Dalton opened its doors 12 years ago, Martha Wassum was there to keep it running.

The non-profit provides free medical care to low-income and uninsured residents of Whitfield and Murray Counties.

Martha says its her mission to make sure everyone who qualifies gets compassionate care.

467. That's the number of hours Martha Wassum spent last year working as the volunteer coordinator for the DEO clinic in Dalton, Georgia.

Executive Director Tom Brown says she treats people like gold.

"Caring and compassionate, she treats everyone with dignity and respect," said Tom.

Mike North can attest to that, he's been coming to the DEO clinic since his heart attack in 2016.

"Martha's a real good woman. We love her. Me and my wife do," said Mike.

Even when the clinic was closed last week, Martha was still there setting up doctor's appointments for people in need.

"Ok, what's your name?" asked Martha to a patient on the phone.

Tom was put on hold. He waited patiently to surprise the woman he says keeps the non-profit running smoothly with a smile.

He finally walked her into the office across the hall, our cameras rolling.

"You are the energizer bunny here that keeps this clinic functioning," said Tom.

"Some say that, yes," smiled Martha.

"And on behalf of Newschannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm, I'd like to Pay It Forward 1, 2, 3, 4, $500!" surprised Tom.

"Oh my gosh! Thank you. Can I give it back to the clinic? Yes?" asked Martha.

"You can do whatever you want," said Tom.

What Martha wanted, was to show off the clinic.

She took us for a tour.

"We have a pulmonary specialist, we have a heart doctor," explained Martha.

Every week she checks in patients, conducts eligibility interviews and even goes above and beyond finding food and housing for patients.

And when the tour was over, Mike made sure he didn't leave without giving Martha a big squeeze.

Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for volunteering? Nominate them here.

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