The last C.A.R.E. clinic was held just over two weeks ago, and as I sit at my desk replaying the New Orleans August 29th clinic in my head I am yet again amazed at the impact that Free Clinics have around the country.
Working with little to no state or federal support, for many people Free Clinics are a lifeline - the only place many can go for medical care. Free Clinics are not just gap fillers and they are not band-aids, but rather they are a vital and important part of a community, truly being the communities response to the health care needs in an area.
On the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the National Association of Free Clinics served 1,000 uninsured patients with the help of an incredible army of volunteers. On this day over 900 free prescriptions were filled, 1 case of HIV was found, 1 patient was sent to the emergency room, connection to 100 free mammograms were given and 5 cases of cancer were diagnosed.
It is amazing to me that in one day that many people could be positively impacted by a “sea of red shirts” who decided to give their time to those in need. This C.A.R.E. clinic and the other 10 that we have held just highlights the amazing work that Free Clinics perform in their communities on a daily basis. By bringing together volunteers Free Clinics service the uninsured with dignity and compassion.
Working for this organization is not just a job, but rather it has become a passion that has forever changed the lives of the NAFC staff. For this we will forever be grateful to our members.
- Nicole Lamoureux, NAFC Executive Director