WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Running a for-profit hospital is difficult in rural areas. It makes the work of nonprofit health centers Like Agape Health Services that much more vital to the area.

Agape Health Services is one such nonprofit. It opened in Washington in 1996 and has opened locations in Williamston and Plymouth.

“Within a five-county area, we serve six to seven thousand patients a year,” said Mariana Rolinsky, director of operations for Agape.

Agape provides medical, dental, pharmacy and behavioral health services to Eastern North Carolina, all on a sliding pay scale.

“It is important to give sliding fee scale to make healthcare affordable for these patients,” said Rolinsky.

Agape does what it can because many across ENC can’t afford healthcare.

“You can be uninsured and you’re going to receive the same quality healthcare services as you would with a third-party insurance,” said Michael McDuffie, CEO of Agape. “Everyone should have access again to quality health care services, regardless. We repeat that repeat it and repeat it, regardless of their ability to pay.”

These underserved people deserve care, too, Rolinsky said.

“We’re talking about chronic disease management. In eastern North Carolina, we have a high number of indigents who suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Providing this affordable health care helps them take control and better manage their chronic condition,” Rolinsky said.

Rolinsky said they hope to continue to serve the community and do what they can along the way. Monday night, Washington Mayor Donald Saler signed a proclamation recognizing Agape’s work within the community.