“Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”Matthew 25:40
In 1995, Jim and Cooka Shaw answered this call from God to serve “the least of these” by offering free healthcare for the uninsured population in the area. They undertook His mission to provide skilled, compassionate healthcare and counseling to the medically disadvantaged in a manner that honors the name of Jesus Christ.
– JIM AND COOKA SHAWCo-Founders of Lackey Clinic
Dr. Jim Shaw and his wife, Cooka, responding to the call they felt from God to serve others, co-founded a free clinic. They partnered with Rising Sun Baptist Church, and beginning in a Sunday school room on April 20, 1995, the Shaws opened the free clinic one night a week. There, a handful of volunteers began treating the economically and medically disadvantaged in the Lackey community.
Word of the Clinic spread slowly at first. However, the Shaws persisted in their efforts to serve the poor. After York County allowed our Clinic to operate out of Charles Brown Community Center, a steady stream of patients and volunteers ensued.
But our fledgling band of medical volunteers had a bigger vision. Seeing how swiftly the need was growing, they began to believe that one day they would provide these much-needed services inside a well-equipped facility that the medical ministry would own.
In 2003, after much prayer, hard work, and the generous support of the community, Lackey Free Clinic opened the doors of a brand-new building, just down the street from the community center. Not only did our dedicated staff and volunteers help bring this new home to life, their innovation has made our Clinic a pioneer in its field. In 2003, we added a pharmacy and enabled our patients to access free medicine through the Pharmacy Connection.In 2004, we opened a dental clinic and one of Virginia’s first free chronic-care clinics for patients with diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and other ongoing conditions.
The Clinic expanded with a 6,000 square foot addition in early 2013 to allow for the growing needs in the community, increasing the four exam rooms to 10 and adding two group rooms for patient education. Also addressing a critical unmet patient need of basic dental care, Lackey now has five dental operatories.
Sadly, Dr. Shaw passed away in the summer of 2015 after a long-time battle with multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer. He died a few weeks after celebrating his and Cooka’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, which was only a few months after the Clinic’s 20th Anniversary.
God has blessed Dr. Shaw’s and Cooka’s work, growing the Clinic from a Sunday school room 25 years ago to a thriving 10,000 square foot medical facility housing close to 30 full and part-time staff and hundreds of volunteers who give their time. Lackey Clinic has changed in look and in scope many times in the past 25 years, but it has always remained true to the vision that compelled the Shaws in that church basement two and a half decades ago.
In this 25th Anniversary year for the Clinic, we honor the vision, mission, and faith of Jim and Cooka Shaw, and celebrate the achievements of all those who’ve given of their time, their charity, and their devotion to help our patients in their times of need.
There are still thousands of individuals in our community that need our help. We continue to follow God’s mission to serve others, and we are determined to make sure those in need always have a place to find superb care, renewed hope, and an uplifted spirit. We pray that the story of Lackey Clinic will have many more chapters yet to come.