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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Free Clinic of Southwest Washington

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Clinics, Health

Mission: Our mission is to provide free, compassionate, quality medical care to children and adults who are otherwise unable to access health services.

Target demographics: Low-income, uninsured Clark County residents.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Nearly 6,800 low-income, uninsured & underinsured members of our community

Geographic areas served: Clark County, Washington.

Programs: Medical, dental and vision care - and, through Project Access, we also coordinate free specialty care services.

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a board member and went to an evening clinic to observe our staff and volunteers administering immunizations for children returning to school. Our waiting room was packed with young children and their families anxiously awaiting their shots. A line formed outside the waiting room as it was standing room only. The line formed down the side of the building and people leaned up against the wall to keep dry because it was raining. There was a crush of people around the reception desk as patients were completing the necessary forms. Our bilingual staff assisted when needed. The completed forms were then organized by our nurses and staff so that the proper immunizations were delivered. Even though our many volunteers and paid staff do not work together on a regular basis, they all knew what to do. And they easily moved among themselves assisting each other when preparing each patient for the immunizations. Our nurses and staff double checked the paperwork to be sure our patients received the correct immunization and dose. Our Free Clinic is a wonderful example of the teamwork of our staff and volunteers, all dedicated to providing compassionate care for our patients.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering as a pharmacist since the 1990s. I am now retired and decided that being a volunteer pharmacist at the free clinic would allow me to still maintain that expertise and joy of providing good patient care. The other volunteers are great: everyone has a common goal to aid patients in need. Over the last couple of years, I have enjoyed making new friends at the free clinic. To add to my experience, I joined the Board to continue the legacy of Mike Strickland, a great pharmacist volunteer. I can only hope to match his enthusiasm and energy. Lastly, I enjoy the teaching opportunities with student volunteers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am both a Board Member and a volunteer (patient intake). The heart and soul of this organization are the volunteers. The care and compassion they provide the patients is amazing and the number of people I see leave with a smile on their face because they finally got the help they needed is heartwarming. We are taking care of the most vulnerable in our community and I am honored & blessed to be associated with this organization!

2 Laura155

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Free Clinic of Southwest Washington is not an organization that I would have ever imagined myself needing. I have always had great jobs with sufficient medical and dental insurance and have enjoyed reasonably good health.

Sometimes life throws you some curve balls and sometimes life just throws you completely off of the cart.

The Free Clinic of Southwest Washington and its endless crew of selfless volunteers has been a very bright spot in some very challenging times. I did not think people like this existed any longer. When you're dealing with difficult circumstances as it is and then cannot afford health or dental care, there are very few resources available that can or will help.

My first encounter with the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington was in December of 2012. I was not able to afford my prescriptions refills and they were able to fill a one month supply for me. Shortly after that I was called and scheduled for their dental clinic. This service took a little longer to get in to see someone but once I was evaluated and set up with a treatment plan, I was invited to dental appointments.

I participated in the Adult Dental Day at the Clark County Skills Center in April 2013. I had four bottom front teeth taken care of. This was no small feat as the teeth had significant cavities and they were getting close to needing root canals. The dentist and the team spent a couple of hours on me and saved four teeth from needing unaffordable and UN-obtainable root canals and crowns. I will add that these were FRONT bottom teeth on a woman who makes presentations and deals with people for my livelihood.

On August 29, 2013 I was scheduled again through the Oral Health Initiative to have TWO broken and root canal-ed crowns removed. Kaiser Dental was the community partner that covered this procedure.

I got a call last week that another local dentist and partner with the Oral Health Initiative will be calling me soon to schedule some fillings on FRONT TOP teeth this time.

Despite challenging economic circumstances and some personal resource challenges, the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington and ALL of their volunteers have always made me feel respected and cared for but the most touching and intangible gift they give is the gift of restoring a persons dignity.

I may be in a temporarily challenging situation right now, but when I am back on my feet (and that will preferable be soon and in the greatest pair of stilettos your have ever seen) this organization is on the top of my priority list to give back to as well as their community partners.

I may not have cash right now, but I will tell you that this group of tireless, selfless, truly generous volunteers have made a HUGE deposit for good in The Bank of Karma!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am very proud of the amazing service the Free Clinic provides to the uninsured of Southwest Washington. It is a great experience to have had the opportunity to get to know those who are directly invovled in the mission of the Free Clinic. Their compassion and dedication is very inspiring. The Free Clinic really does make a difference in the lives of people... not only those they serve, but also those who share their time and talent to provide the care that is needed. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers and the very supportive community of Clark County.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Having my annual check, I mentioned I might have a UTI. My doctor told me how much the lab work would cost me since I did not have regular insurance. My mouth drop and she then recommended the Free Clinic of SW, Wa. The wait was nominal for the service and the people were polite and very helpful. I highly recommend anyone donate to their great cause any way they can. Thank You

Sara47

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Free Clinic of SW Washington serves the community in an organized, dependable and kind way. Patient care is provided by volunteers who commit to a schedule of providing their time. Although resources are in short supply they are used with prudence and care. As a volunteer, I find this sign that hangs in my exam room to be inspiring each week: "Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in." I vote by volunteering at the Free Clinic.

Client Served

Rating: 5

special thanks to all this people that volunteer in any way to helping others, you guys are the best. Thank you for being so caring about other human beings that arent that wealthy, or that are in need. Thank you for all your help and care. May God bless you and all your plans

Emily36

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This clinic is always PACKED. And no wonder, as there are tens of thousands of uninsured residents of Clark County in dire need of health care, who can't afford the $300 it costs to walk through the door of an urgent care clinic or ER. I have volunteered at this clinic for 10 years - from back before I was a CNA-in-training to the medical provider I am today - and I've watched with pride as I've seen the Free Clinic's services expand to meet the needs of Clark County citizens. We started off as an urgent care-type clinic, dispensing antibiotics and other acute care medications for basic ear infections, sprained ankles etc... now we have a weekly diabetes clinic, dental services, weekly preventative health screenings, full casting, and a great variety of specialists (orthopedists, nephrologists, endocrinologists, etc.) who can help patients manage their chronic health conditions. I can honestly say that Clark County is healthier because of this clinic, and I'm so proud to be a part of it!!!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served on the Board of the Free Clinic for many years, and have also worked at the Clinic a a volunteer. This is a remarkable organization that leverages the dollars we have through thousands of donated volunteer hours, donated pharmaseuticals, and other item for our patients. The executive director and staff are top notch, and both staff and volunteers treat the patients with care and respect. The Free Clinic is financially sound, so that we can ensure that we can always provide services to memers of our community who are uninsured.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Free Clinic of SW WA is an absolutely fabulous organization. The services they provide to the community are invaluable. They not only help the unsinsured by providing compassionate quality medical and dental care at no cost they also provide services to local school districts and education on healthcare to the community they serve. They are a well-run organization that values and makes the most of every dollar they receive and volunteer hour donated. You truly make a difference in people's lives by donating to this organization...whether it is money or time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work with Project Access which connects patients to specialists in the community willing to donate services to our patients. It is incredibly meaningful to help patients enroll in a program that changes the quality of their lives for the better. It makes me thankful to live in a community of such caring people.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the free clinic of southwest Washington for many reasons: to help those without medical insurance, to teach my children that all should give back to their community, to gain experience in the medical field, etc. I volunteer at other places as well. The free clinic stands out. What I see from the free clinic is that they help as many people as they possibly can every single day. No one is turned away without a resource. If the free clinic doesn't have the resources to help a particular patient they find another agency that will help. Before volunteering I was without medical insurance and visited the free clinic. I was amazed that this resource was available. I was amazed at the service I received. I was also amazed that I didn't have a medical bill afterwards. The free clinic of southwest washington is truly amazing! Because of this I continue to give back by volunteering at least twice a month.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Clinic SW is a well organized, invaluable resource of all Volunteer Medical providers from the surrounding Portland/Vancouver area that serve folks without insurance that live in Clark County. It is quite unique in that there is a lot of specialists available for further consultations and every provider takes their time to donate for free. We all receive a deep sense of gratification knowing that we can do what we can to help others.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Free Clinic is well run and low key. Their online scheduling for volunteers makes my life easier. They have a great group of staff and a positive, friendly vibe.

1 Mike50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was the second pharmacist to volunteer when the Free Clinic first opened its doors, and I continue to volunteer at the dispensary at least twice a month. I also am serving my second term on the Board of Directors, and am Secretary of the Executive committee as well as serving on multiple committees. The Free Clinic has grown not only because of the need, but because of its excellent service to the under in non insured patients. It is always a pleasant experience working with the other volunteers and I will continue to do so after I retire from practice. It is so rewarding to know that you are helping a very large and growing population to obtain necessary health care needs and that our services are appreciated by those receiving them as well.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work full time as a Registered Nurse at the same hospital for 30 years. And for almost 15 years I have been volunteering at least once a month at the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington. The people who volunteer there really care about the people we serve and about the community we live in. Most of our patients have jobs, but no health benefits and they have a wide range of medical needs. We meet their needs or refer them when we cannot, and the patients are most grateful. I enjoy my work there and feel it is very worthwhile. I don't know what this community would do if this clinic did not exist.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at the Free Clinic of SW Washington for now 12 years. I find it is one of the most rewarding activities I do. The need is great and the patients are always so appreciative. The clinic is well run, in fact so well run by the small staff, that as volunteers we often forget that most of the care is provided by use and not the staff. I have more multiple stories where the care here saved lives. However it is the day to day medical care that makes the difference. It is a joy to volunteer and feel the Free Clinic is the most important thing I do as Nurse Practitioner.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer physician at the Free Clinic of SW Washington for 16 years. Not wanting to spend even more time away from my family, I brought my daughter with me where she was welcomed and given age and experience appropriate roles for the next 12 years. What I especially appreciate about the clinic is the multi specialty support: pediatricians and internists are frequently present, Dermatologists review photographed lesions, other specialists such as neuro, endocrine, opthalmology, ENT, ortho, cardiology,urology, etc, are anticipated in advance and patients advised to return for their clinic dates. The clinic staff don't drop the ball if a patient's needs are beyond clinic scope...they assist the patient in accessing further diagnostics or care. The lab has evolved over the years and now does A1C's in deference to the needs of the Diabetes Clinic which meets on Wednesday mornings. I am pleased to see the scope expand in the future to cover more Gyn.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteer as a Spanish translator. I think that the clinic is a great asset to our community. They provide a wide variety of services such as a mobile dental van, urgent care clinics, immunizations, a diabetes eye clinic, and more, at no cost to the patients. They also offer referrals for services they do not provide. The clinic survives almost entirely on the help of volunteers and donations.