A Year in Review – A Look Back at the NAFC 2018 Accomplishments

2018 has been another busy year for the NAFC and our members!  As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to provide an overview of the work we have accomplished throughout the year.


NAFC staff continues to make sure that people who need access to health care are connected to local resources in their area.  We also connect potential medical and non-medical volunteers to clinics and encourage volunteerism in communities throughout the country.  Contact information for Free and Charitable Clinics across the country can be found at https://www.nafcclinics.org/find-clinic.


It is important to the NAFC that our donors, members and partners can be assured that all funds coming in to the organization are used responsibly and that we are committed to transparency.

The NAFC has earned the 2018 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. We are thrilled to once again receive the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar.   To reach the Platinum level, we added extensive information to our Nonprofit Profile: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; quantitative information about goals, strategies, and progress toward our mission.

The NAFC has also once again received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.  Their coveted 4-star rating demonstrates strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.  The 4-star rating is the highest possible rating and indicates that our organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that the NAFC exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in our area of work. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.


Coordinated Care for Improved Health Outcomes: The NAFC again partnered with the CVS Health Foundation in a Coordinated Care for Improved Health Outcomes Grant program, making one-year grants available to NAFC members. As part of its ongoing effort toward making quality health care convenient and affordable for more Americans, the CVS Health Foundation, a private charitable organization created by CVS Health, extended its commitment to the NAFC with $1 million in new grants to 49 Free and Charitable Clinics across the country. The grants focus on improving health outcomes for patients managing chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. This year’s funds bring the Foundation’s total contribution to the NAFC to more than $4.5 million since 2015.

Combatting the Opioid Epidemic: The NAFC partnered with CVS Health to pilot a grant program in select states throughout the country to help combat the opioid epidemic. This funding focused on support for existing or new Harm Reduction Programs, support for staff or volunteer training programs, or purchases of Supplies and Medication such as Naloxone, Evzio, Needles, Vivitrol etc.

Continuity in Care: The NAFC has partnered for a second year in a row with Direct Relief and Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) to offer Continuity of Care Grants to NAFC Member Organizations.Continuity in Care funding is focused on programs which will allow our member organizations to continue or expand their ability to provide much needed health care for the medically underserved in their communities. These general operating support grants may be used to cover day-to-day activities or ongoing expenses such as salaries, utilities, office supplies, medical supplies, dental supplies, pharmaceutical supplies, technology maintenance, rent, expansion of services, project costs, technology purchases, and professional development.

Technology: The NAFC partnered with the Cardinal Foundation to offer technology grants to clinics in the state of Ohio to enhance patient engagement through text messaging capabilities. CareMessage enables clinics to reduce no-shows by using automated text and voice reminders to collect RSVPs. The platform allows staff members to send personalized texts to individual patients or recurring messages to groups of patients. For clinics looking to improve patient education efforts, CareMessage offers automated, but interactive health coaching programs designed to encourage behavior change and self-health management.

Point of Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness (PoCECE): In an effort to improve evidence-based care in Free and Charitable Clinics using point-of-care testing results, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) in conjunction with Heart to Heart International (HHI) and the NAFC selected six clinics in the United States to receive grants.  Point of Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness (PoCECE) is a multi-year initiative that provides grants to equip clinics with essential diagnostic point-of-care testing to help evaluate their patients on-site in a timely manner. PoCECE (funded by BD and implemented by HHI in conjunction with the NAFC) provides awards to Free and Charitable Clinics with a desire to use point-of-care testing to diagnose and set treatment protocols with the goal of improving patient outcomes.


The NAFC again partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to provide the third annual RWJF Award for Health Equity celebrating health practitioners who excel in building a “Culture of Health and achieving health equity” in communities across the country. The NAFC advances the RWJF vision for building a “Culture of Health” by eliminating barriers to high quality health care for the medically underserved in the United States.

Health care practitioners (i.e., physician, physician’s assistant, nurse, nurse practitioner, case manager, etc.) from NAFC member organizations were nominated for their work in improving outcomes under one of the following focus areas: increasing patient visit capacity, better chronic disease outcomes, reducing emergency room utilization, improved patient compliance, established collaborative health & wellness program in addition to primary care, and successful telehealth or mobile health program.

The winner of the 2018 RWJF – NAFC Award for Health Equity is Angela Settle, Family Nurse Practitioner and CEO of the West Virginia Health Right, Inc. Angie has been with the clinic for 21 years. She was first employed as a RN, then an FNP, then became the Clinical Coordinator, and finally, in 2014, became the CEO when the founding CEO of the organization, Pat White, retired. Angie’s two innovative programs – the mobile dental program and mobile harm reduction program – are the only ones of their kind in the state and possibly the nation. The mobile dental program allowed access to over 3,000 people in the first year to obtain free preventative and curative dental care. The groundbreaking mobile harm reduction program that was created and implemented less than one year ago has connected thousands of people to substance abuse screenings, testing for infectious diseases, supplied them with education, gave them access to drug treatment and finally, the drug Nalaxone (Narcan), that has most assuredly saved lives throughout West Virginia.

The NAFC has also been working on a Health Equity initiative along with Americares, Loyola University Chicago to bring together Free and Charitable Clinic leaders, state free and charitable clinic association executive directors, technology quality improvement professionals, and health equity experts for a Roadmap to Health Equity Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to improve the quality of care and reduce health inequality for the millions of vulnerable and socially disadvantaged patients who seek care in Free and Charitable Clinics nationwide.


The NAFC and our members are dedicated to ensuring that our patients receive quality health care. Therefore, to quantify and qualify the care provided within the Free and Charitable Clinic network, the NAFC has developed Quality Standards for all member organizations.

Current and potential members will be expected to attest/pledge that they successfully incorporate these standards of practice within their organizations.  The standards will allow the NAFC to showcase the quality care provided to our patients and will assist the NAFC in developing future benefits and resources that will help organizational members enhance the care they provide to patients.

This year the NAFC has been in the demonstration phase of the roll out of the Quality Standards. There will be an Assessment Phase in 2019 where we will begin the standards rating process and working with organizations on action plans, and in 2020 there will be full implementation of the Quality Standards program.


An important initiative of the NAFC is to educate Congress, the Administration and Federal Agencies on the work being done throughout the charitable health care network and the health care needs that continue to exist for our medically underserved patients throughout the country.

In 2018, the NAFC held successful policy letter writing campaigns that activated our members on important policy issues including medication affordability and the Federal Tort Claims Act.  Over 50 meetings were attended by NAFC staff and members with members of Congress, their staff and agency representatives throughout the year.

While the NAFC and Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies typically don’t receive any federal funding, there are several federal programs that our members utilize and that help our patients. Some of the successes from this year’s public policy efforts include protecting the funding for the Federal Tort Claims Act Free Clinic program which provides our clinics with malpractice insurance, as well as protecting the funding for the Nurse Loan Repayment Program, the National Health Service Corps, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.


Through a partnership with Direct Relief, the NAFC administered $1.8 Million in grant funding to Charitable Clinics and Pharmacies in Texas and Florida who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. These grants were distributed to support continued recovery efforts, to recoup expenses and/or reinforce emergency preparedness efforts related to the hurricanes which will allow for the continuity of crucial life-saving care to those most vulnerable in their communities.

Throughout the year, the NAFC staff reached out to any member organizations that were in the area of any natural disasters that occur or that experience any type of emergency to coordinate support and to connect them with our disaster relief partners and other available resources.


The NAFC provides regular technical assistance and education to the staff and volunteers of our member organizations.  We have provided monthly webinars that cover topics including Electronic Health Records, Medication Access, Fundraising, Public Policy Updates and more.

In October 2018, the NAFC welcomed 360 attendees to the Charitable Health Care Symposium in Nevada. It was a successful event filled with sharing best practices, education and making new connections with others in the charitable health care network. Some of the many topics that were covered at this year’s Symposium include: the Opioid Epidemic, Social Determinants of Health, Board Engagement, Utilizing Students, Fundraising, Culturally Competent Care, Sexual Harassment Prevention, Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, Disaster Preparation, Immigration Issues and more. The NAFC is thankful to all of the 2018 Sponsors and Exhibitors that made this important conference a success, including our lead sponsor Direct Relief.


The NAFC provides over 675 practical resources from themembers only NAFC resource library that includes real-world documents members can adopt or adapt.  In addition to these resources, the NAFC has 43 partners to provide our members a group purchasing power, providing members with access to exclusive NAFC member discountson products, services, technology, and more.

The NAFC has also conducted a salary survey of our members this year, the results of which will be available early 2019. In addition to providing salary levels, the survey will help identify ways that member organizations are recruiting and retaining volunteers and staff for implementation at other locations.


The NAFC and CVS Health Foundation partnered to present the Safety Net Health Care Champion Awards.  A Safety Net Health Care Champion is an organization or individual who through their individual or collective actions have made an extraordinary impact in the Free and Charitable Clinic and Charitable Pharmacy community. Through their commitment to health care access, Free and Charitable Clinics and Pharmacies (and the individuals and organizations who support them) serve as an inspiration to others in an effort to improve the quality of health care and discover new ways to assist those in need.

The winners of the 2018 Safety Net Health Care Champion Awards are:

  • Stephanie Garris – Stephanie Garris is the CEO of Grace Medical Home in Orlando, Florida. Stephanie is a constant advocate for the medically underserved at a local, state and national level.
  • Martin Hiller – Martin (Marty) Hiller has devoted over 40 years to serving Free and Charitable Clinics, as a volunteer, program director, executive director and consultant.
  • UCSD Student-Run Free ClinicProject – The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project (SRFCP) was initiated in San Diego, California in 1997 by founder and current Director, Dr. Ellen Beck, a group of committed, motivated students, and dedicated community partners.
  • Texas Association of Charitable Clinics (TXACC) – As the state organization for Texas, which has the distinction of having the highest rate of uninsured individuals, TXACC, under the direction of its Executive Director Jody Hopkins, has the challenging job of supporting over 75-member clinics with minimal staff and as of yet, no state funding.


With the consistent expansion of our membership and the programs we provide, the NAFC is expanding. This fall we moved from shared office space to a larger space that is dedicated to the NAFC. We are excited for this next level for the organization which will allow us to expand our staff in the near future.  And the best part is – our address and phone numbers will remain the same for a seamless transition!


The NAFC could not accomplish this important work without the support of our amazing donors, and for that we are beyond grateful.  If you would like to make an end of year tax-deductible donation the the NAFC, simply click the button below.  Thank you for your support of our organization, our members and most importantly, of our patients!