Dr. Dana Vallangeon decided years ago that helping people was her calling.
“God got a hold of my life and said this is what I created you to do,” she said.
While she thought about medical mission work in a foreign country, her heart told her to think globally but act locally.
“To do medical missions, here in America, in an underserved area,” she explained.
With her husband by her side, she started the Lower Lights Christian Health Center in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus.
And it’s been growing for the last 12 years. They have now expanded into a bigger space.
It is 20,000 square feet and has 16 exam rooms, instead of six.
Patient Tara Bosart said if the center had not existed 10 years ago, she would not have been able to see a doctor.
“Probably not for five years...didn't have insurance,” said patient Bosart.
Half of the patients have no insurance and little to no means to pay.
Grants and donations absorb some of the cost in Vallangeon’s faith-fueled endeavor.
She says it's a challenging journey.
“And it's an exciting, awesome, sometimes intimidating and overwhelming journey; but it is the way our faith is meant to be,” said Vallangeon.
Her family said that meant “walking the talk” and moving into the Franklinton neighborhood to be close to the center.
“True compassion is going to where suffering is most acute and most severe and making a home there,” she added.
Vallangeon’s husband is pastor of the church tied to the health center.
“The health center treats the body and the church is treating the soul,” said Michael Vallangeon.
Dana calls it a way to live faith on a deeper level, and her husband agrees.
The doctor makes no small plans, and her goal is to leave no person in her corner of the world untreated.
“It's awe inspiring to know that with all my imperfections and weaknesses, we're able to accomplish something that matters.”
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