It is well known that racial, societal and economic factors have a direct impact on people’s health and their ability to access health care and other resources needed to have a healthy life. Not only are Free and Charitable Clinics and Pharmacies on the frontlines of natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic, but they are on the frontlines of injustice in health care. We are committed to working toward health equity and addressing the racial, societal and economic factors that influence people’s health.

Our patients face a variety of complex challenges and barriers to health care access. Free & Charitable Clinics have been deeply committed to providing whole-person health care to take on social determinants of health and health disparities.

Free and Charitable Clinics work hard to help address the many issues that people in their community face, including, but not limited to:

  • lack of accessible, affordable health care
  • lack of access to affordable medications
  • food insecurity/food deserts
  • lack of transportation
  • safe housing
  • health literacy
  • language barriers

In 2019, CVS Health partnered with the NAFC to provide $2.9 million in grants – one of the major areas of focus for the grants is to help clinics provide wraparound services to address the social determinants of health.

point washington medical clinic truck
community grows vegetable bin
pharmacist putting together perscriptions

RWJF Award for Health Equity Presented by the NAFC

The NAFC partners with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on a 7-year award program. The RWJF Award for Health Equity is meant to celebrate and honor individuals across the country who excel in building a “Culture of Health and health equity” in their communities. The NAFC advances RWJF’s vision for building a “Culture of Health” by eliminating barriers to high-quality health care for the medically underserved in the U.S.

Roadmap To Health Equity

The NAFC has partnered with Americares and Loyola University Chicago to form the Roadmap to Health Equity initiative. This national effort will help demonstrate and elevate the quality of care and lay the foundation for addressing health inequities impacting our most vulnerable patient populations.

Center of Excellence

The NAFC has partnered with the Just Health Collective and convened a working group of NAFC Members to work on building a Center of Excellence to advance health equity and belonging for the benefit of patients, Free and Charitable Clinics, and their partners. This Center will be a centralized unit of dedicated people and resources to hone in expertise in the area of equity, standardizing best practices for wide-scale adoption, and providing thought leadership & direction.

Point of Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness Program

The NAFC partners with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and Heart to Heart International (HHI) on the Point of Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness (PoCECE) program. PoCECE is a multi-year initiative that began in 2017, providing organizations caring for underserved and vulnerable populations in the U.S. with the essential point of care diagnostic testing tools, allowing clinicians to evaluate patients on site and get diagnostic test results before they leave the clinic. This program allows grantees that operate with limited resources to enhance their on-site diagnostic capabilities and, in turn, expedite the diagnosis of chronic diseases, monitor treatment protocols and improve health outcomes for their patients.