What is a Free Clinic?
Free Clinics are private, non-profit, community or faith-based organizations that provide medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and/or mental health services at little or no cost to uninsured and underinsured people through the use of volunteer health professionals, community volunteers, and partnerships with other health providers. As of August 2012, there are 30 known Free Clinics operating in Washington State, as well as 5 start-up clinics and 6 Project Access organizations. The WFCA estimates that these clinics provided healthcare services to as many as 60,000 patient visits in 2011 alone. No two Free Clinics are alike, and the development of each clinic is guided by the community to meet identified health care needs using the community’s unique assets and resources.
What does the WFCA do?
The Washington Free Clinic Association, founded in 2008, is a private, non-profit 501c3 tax-exempt organization whose mission is to strengthen and support the Free Clinics of Washington through advocacy, education and professional networking. As with any professional industry, the individuals involved benefit from having an Association to represent and promote them, as well as to facilitate networking and circulation of best practices.
Presentations & Resources from the 2012 Annual Free Clinic Conference now available!
The 7th Annual WFCA Conference took place September 14th & 15th, 2012 in Tacoma, WA. To access notes, recommended reading and presentations from the conference, click here.
Janice Anhorn recognized with 2012 Marcia Howery Award
Marcia Howery directed the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington from 1990 until her death in 2008. In these years, Marcia demonstrated a heartfelt commitment to helping uninsured people receive the health care that they needed, and assisted other free clinics across the region in getting started. The Marcia Howery Award, first given in 2008, commemorates a life of service to the medically underserved by distinguishing those who continue this work with the same passion. In 2012, the Free Clinics of Washington recognized Janice Anhorn, RN, of SOS Health Services in College Place for her incredible contributions to the wellness of her community. Thank you & congratulations, Janice!
Save the Date: September 19-21, 2013 for the 8th Annual Washington Healthcare Access Alliance Conference
If you work or volunteer in a Free Clinic, Project Access, or other patient health and advocacy organization and you are interested in learning more about this unique sector of healthcare, please plan to join us next September in Port Angeles, WA. More information will be available Spring 2013.