Free Health Care for the Uninsured Is Coming to District in August
WI Staff | 6/16/2010, 10:17 a.m.
Volunteers Can Register Now
A massive free clinic scheduled in the District in August will provide much-needed free medical care to uninsured people in and around the nation's capital. The National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) will sponsor the free clinic on August 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, Northwest.
"Although this has been a historic year with the passage of federal health care reform legislation, uninsured people throughout the country still need free medical resources now," NAFC Executive Director Nicole Lamoureux said. "This free clinic is not just for the sick but also for anyone who is uninsured and has not seen a doctor recently. All participants will receive preventive primary medical care and be connected to the area's safety-net providers."
This will be the seventh in a series of large, mostly one-day C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinics held around the country to bring together physicians and other health care professionals, as well as non-medical volunteers, to serve the needs of thousands of people who might otherwise go without medical care.
Since last September, more than 8,000 uninsured patients received treatment at C.A.R.E. Clinics in Houston, New Orleans, Little Rock, Kansas City, Hartford and Atlanta.
"Most importantly, these free clinics connect the uninsured with safety-net providers such as free clinics, sliding-scale clinics and federally qualified health centers near where they live so that patients can receive regular treatment on an ongoing basis," Lamoureux said.
"Often, many of the people who come to these clinics are completely unaware of the resources available to them, so these C.A.R.E. clinics can get uninsured people connected to the network."
Both medical and non-medical volunteers are needed to participate in this one-day free clinic. Information on the event and how to register is available online at: http://www.regonline.com/DCCARE. Volunteers are needed not only on the day of the event, Aug. 4, but also to help with set up on Aug. 3.
In 2008, free clinics across the nation provided care to about 4 million uninsured people. In 2009, that doubled to about 8 million people, despite a decline in donations. A $1 donation to free clinics typically provides $5 worth of services.
"It is important to note that being uninsured is not the same as being unemployed," Lamoureux said. "About 83 percent of uninsured people have jobs. At past C.A.R.E. Clinics, we found that many of the patients worked at two or more jobs but did not receive health insurance benefits. Some even worked as nurses or for insurance companies but still did not have insurance themselves."
Medical volunteers needed for the Atlanta clinic include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, emergency medical technicians, medical administrators, licensed clinical social workers and more.
Non-medical volunteers are needed to help with documentation, logistical support, patient intake and translation, as well as to be patient greeters and escorts.
The National Association of Free Clinics is the only nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of more than 1,200 free clinics and the people they serve in the United States.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is an effective advocate for the issues and concerns of free clinics, their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, technicians and other health care professionals, as well as the patients served by free clinics in communities throughout the nation.