We were so pleased to see the Aug. 24 front-page article by Cameron W. Barr drawing attention to the critical issue of health care for uninsured adults of limited means in Montgomery County.

However, I would like to correct the description of Mercy Health Clinic as a "church-based" program. Although Mercy began as an initiative from the social concerns committee of Our Lady of Mercy Church, the clinic is not affiliated with any church or religious organization. As a nonsectarian, nonprofit clinic, we encourage the involvement of all faiths and people to work toward providing quality health care for uninsured, low-income adults.

As the article indicates, the success of clinics such as ours depends on the volunteer efforts of our health care professionals. Our volunteer physicians are active in private practice or have recently retired, and they share their time and talents generously, caring for these patients at Mercy or in their own offices. Volunteer nurses, interpreters and administrative staff give countless hours of support. Area hospitals and other health organizations donate services and funds.

All of these efforts underscore the idea that "it takes a village" to address the critical health care needs of the uninsured and disadvantaged. Thank you for acknowledging the collaboration of the Montgomery County government, Mercy Health Clinic and other members of the Primary Care Coalition to work toward a solution.

SHARON N. COVINGTON

Chairman, Board of Directors

Mercy Health Clinic

Potomac