Free clinic in Conway closed

© Courtney Spradlin, Log Cabin Democrat

CONWAY (Log Cabin Democrat) - There have been few people in Conway who have touched so many in a positive way as has Mary Beard.

The other day, Beard, soft-spoken and genteel at 76 years of age, spoke plaintively and ardently about her Pine Street Free Clinic and how painful it was to close the doors for the last time -- after 10 years of exceptional service.

Succinctly, she made the case for the demise of the clinic -- a dwindling staff, many of whom have been on board for years, a paucity of medications and her own staying power -- all contributing to calling it a day.

Through it all, she has maintained that giving people a hand up, not a hand out, is the formula for moving ahead, even though she had operated her clinic on an eleemosynary base -- free being the operative word.

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