HARTFORD, Conn., Jan. 26 Uninsured residents of the Hartford area in need of medical attention should call 877-233-5159 toll-free as soon as possible to schedule appointments for a free health clinic at the Connecticut Convention Center on Feb. 3.
"This event is about getting people who need care into the medical system and connecting them with free clinics and other safety-net providers for ongoing treatment," Nicole Lamoureux, executive director of the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC), said. "It also highlights the incredible work that the 1,200 free health clinics and the numerous safety net clinics around the county do every day to serve the nation's uninsured people."
Several hundred doctors, other medical providers and non-medical volunteers are expected to participate in the C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic sponsored by the NAFC. They will provide care for a wide range of medical issues at no cost to participants or taxpayers from noon until 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 3.
"People without insurance are up to four times less likely to have a regular source of health care," Lamoureux said. "The C.A.R.E. Clinic could give many of them their first opportunity in a long time to receive professional help for their medical problems."
More than 11 percent of non-elderly residents in Connecticut do not have health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
"Similar one-day, free clinics in 2009 treated almost 1,800 people in Houston in September, more than 1,000 people in New Orleans in November, more than 1,000 people in Little Rock in November and almost 2,300 patients at a two-day event in Kansas City in December," Lamoureux said. "So we urge people to register in advance to be seen by health care professionals at the one-day C.A.R.E. Clinic in Hartford. We will try to accommodate as many walk-ins as possible, but that will be on a first-come-first-served basis."
In addition to the toll-free number for patients to register for the C.A.R.E. Clinic, patients and volunteers also can find information about the clinic online at: http://freeclinics.us/.
All types of medical volunteers are needed to help with the C.A.R.E. Clinic in Kansas City. Non-medical volunteers also are needed to help with documentation, logistical support and patient intake, as well as assisting patients with scheduling follow-up appointments at their local charitable clinics.
"Free clinics have been serving America's working poor since the 1960s, but over the last year, our patient base has grown significantly due to the economy, workers hours and health insurance have been cut, or they have lost their jobs and insurance completely," Lamoureux said. "Our goal is to connect these people with the resources that they may not be aware even exist."
About the National Association of Free Clinics:
The National Association of Free Clinics is the only nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of more than 1,200 free clinics and the people they serve in the United States.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAFC is an effective advocate for the issues and concerns of free clinics, their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, technicians and other health care professionals, as well as the patients served by free clinics in communities throughout the nation.
SOURCE National Association of Free Clinics