Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) was founded in 2001 by a group of grassroots medical providers and organizers who recognized that health care was not being provided at a local level to the working poor, uninsured and underinsured in our country in a way that was cost-effective, accessible and affordable.
Many people do not realize that there are approximately 1,400 Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies throughout the nation who since the 1960s have been filling in the gap for those who “fall through the cracks” in our current health care system. These clinics/pharmacies receive little to no state or federal funding, do not receive HRSA 330 funds and are not Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers.
The mission of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care. However, it is our larger vision of being a national voice promoting quality health care for all that motivates donors, volunteers, and communities around the country to join our cause, as we work together to build a healthy America, one patient at a time.
Within our Association, we value volunteerism, generosity, collaboration and human dignity. We believe that all individuals, regardless of their age, sex, income, education, immigration status, ethnicity, color of skin, religion, or sexual orientation should have access to affordable, quality health care.
Free & Charitable Clinics & Charitable Pharmacies
Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. Such clinics/pharmacies are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, or operate as a program component or affiliate of a 501(c)(3) organization. Entities that otherwise meet the above definition, but charge a nominal/sliding fee to patients, may still be considered Free or Charitable Clinics or Pharmacies provided essential services are delivered regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. Free or Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies restrict eligibility for their services to individuals who are uninsured, underinsured and/or have limited or no access to primary, specialty or prescription health care.