On October 24th and 25th, the NAFC held the 2022 Charitable Healthcare Symposium. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAFC transitioned to a virtual meeting in 2020 and 2021. This year, the NAFC was thrilled to join together in-person again at the JW Marriott Indianapolis, in Indiana. There was a buzz and excited energy in the air as old friends and colleagues, along with new faces, joined together from across the country.
There were just about 600 attendees for this year’s conference, over half of which attended in Indianapolis, while the remaining were able to join remotely as virtual attendees. The symposium brought together representatives from Free and Charitable Clinics, Charitable Pharmacies, and state associations as well as from sponsor and exhibitor companies and organizations. The event was filled with learning, sharing and networking, covering a wide range of issues that free and charitable clinics and their communities face and how to overcome those challenges.
The 2022 Symposium is an important program of the NAFC as part of its Education and Training Initiatives. Read on to learn more about this important event!
A Big Thank You to Our Sponsors and Exhibitors
Before digging into our Symposium talks, the NAFC must pay forward a huge thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors! Without them, our Symposium would not have been possible.
- Direct Relief (Lead Sponsor)
- Americares (Platinum Sponsor)
- The Owens & Minor Foundation (Gold Sponsor)
- Athenahealth (Gold Sponsor)
- Allscripts (Bronze Sponsor)
- Qwark (Bronze Sponsor)
A full list of exhibitors is available at https://bit.ly/3UQzObe.
Symposium Agenda Spotlight
On October 23, 2022, the Symposium began with a pre-conference Mental Health & Resilience Training, a program the NAFC has partnered with Project Hope to hold. This program serves as a platform to educate attendees on mental health and how to overcome COVID-19 from a mental and emotional perspective. The core tenets focused on…
- Stress, trauma & resiliency
- Personal and professional wellness
- Impact of COVID on the mental health of healthcare workers
- Seeking help for ourselves & others
- Resilience & wellness program development
Day 1 kicked off with Keynote Speaker Dr. Christine Grady, Chief of the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, who discussed the phenomenon of moral distress among healthcare providers (HCP), how the COVID pandemic exacerbated distress, and examples of HCP’s remarkable resourcefulness and resilience.
Breakout sessions throughout the day covered topics including: addressing health equity and providing culturally competent care, expanding access to behavioral health, laboratory services and medication, understanding PR and healthcare policy. The day closed with a session from Dr. Jeffrey Trask on moving towards health equity, followed by a reception where attendees networked with each other and with exhibitors after a full day of knowledge sharing.
Day 2 opened up with a panel discussion on dealing with mental health, self-care, and burnout at Free & Charitable Clinics. Throughout the day, the Symposium saw important sessions such as rethinking clinic operations, disaster planning beyond weather-related storms, the necessity of data visualization, valuing provided services, how to enhance funding proposals and more. The conference closed with a session with the NAFC President and CEO Nicole Lamoureux providing an update on the organization’s current and future programs.
For those who attended virtually, additional sessions included how charitable pharmacies and free clinics can join forces to serve community needs; utilizing community health workers; health needs assessments; monetizing free care; diabetes care, addressing social determinants of health; and new tobacco cessation treatment guideline updates.
Recognitions and Awards
The NAFC 2022 Symposium provided a perfect opportunity to celebrate member organizations and supporters.
Recognitions began before the Symposium kicked off during the NAFC Board of Directors meeting, where two board members who are closing out their terms were thanked for their years of dedication to the NAFC, Shannon Watson and Nancy Hudson. They both served on the NAFC Board from 2014 to 2022. The recognitions continued throughout the event, including thanking Stephanie Garris for her service to the organization as she completes her time as the NAFC Board Chair.
The NAFC presented a new award from the NAFC Volunteers in Medicine Program, the Dr. Jack McConnell Circle of Caring Award, to Maureen Tomoschuk, Community Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM) President and CEO.
The 2022 NAFC Safety Net Health Champion Award was presented to Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief, a long-time friend, supporter and partner to the NAFC and our members.
The final year of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Award for Health Equity Presented by the NAFC was awarded to Nancy Lascheid from the Neighborhood Health Clinic in Florida. Sadly, not long after Nancy was nominated for the award, she passed away. The award was accepted by her daughter Leslie Lascheid who worked alongside her mother for many years and who is currently the Neighborhood Health Clinic CEO.
The NAFC also recognized anniversaries of our many clinics, including the 100th Anniversary of San José Clinic in Texas.
Education and Training Initiatives
With these valuable seminars, the NAFC provides technical assistance to those working in the free and charitable clinic space, along with informational and training webinars held throughout the year. Such topics for webinars include Fundraising, Medication Access, Member Benefits and Resources, Public Policy Updates, Grant Writing, and more.