Recently the Gloucester Mathews Free Clinic moved into a new facility (an existing building renovated) and changed its name to the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic. A patient speaker at the grand opening said the name change was very appropriate as the volunteers and staff really care. that has been my experience there as well.
The numbers are amazing. In 2012 the Clinic served over 2,000 patients,301 volunteers donated 11,636 hours of their time, the pharmacy filled 29,701 prescriptions, When brokered services are added to those provided by the Clinic almost 13 million dollars worth of medical, pharmaceutical, dental and specialized services (surgery, urology etc.). The clinic is about more then numbers, it is about saving peoples lives, helping to get a chronic condition under control, providing the medicine that allows the patient to return to work, taking care of that broken tooth and educating the patient about their chronic condition.
I volunteer at GMFC as a nurse in the evenings. This has been a very rewarding experience for me and I enjoy the patients and the staff. A wonderful group of people to work with!
I have been the GMFC Dental Coordinator since June 2012, and am a member of the GMFC Dental Committee. Oral health is an important component in maintaining the general health of an individual. Oral diseases affect our ability to eat, work, and our appearance. Access to oral health care for uninsured, low-income patients is a serious problem. Dental care is expensie, and seeing a dentist is a luxury many can't afford. I am grateful to have a part in helping people receive even the limited services we can offer on the mobile dental van we lease from the Virginia Department of Health, or with the wonderful local dentists and their staff who volunteer their time, offices, and expertise to help us provide much-needed dental care. Our patients come with hope, and leave with gratitude for what we can provide to them, which is rewarding, but I always wish we could do so much more. Our services are limited to restorations, simple extractions, and cleanings one morning a week. Many patients are in need of dentures, partial plates, root canals, or wisdom teeth removal. Our hope is to expand our services so we can see more patients more efficiently and offer more treatment. The majority of our funding comes from grants, fund-raising events, and donations. The Clinic relies heavily on volunteers, to include volunteer dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants. I am proud to be a part of this Clinic, and encourage volunteers, patients, and those interested in donating or helping in any way to contact the GMFC.
I am a longtime member of the Dental Committee of the Gloucester-Mathews Free Clinic and a longtime employee of a local department of social services for an area served by the clinic. The clinic has done a wonderful job of providing access to medical and dental care for the more vulenrable members of our community. By keeping people healthier the clinic increasing the quality of people's lives as well as helping to give them longer lives. Improved health, both medical and dental, allows people to keep working longer and helps to prevent people from leaving work prematurely due to health problems. This benefits both the individual and the community. I have heard many clients of my agency express gratitude for the services received from the clinic without knowing that I had any connection to the clinic.
I have been the Executive Director of the Gloucester-Mathews Free Clinic for five years. We are supported by over 300 volunteers and serve 2,500 patients. One patient who provided us with a Gloucester County addressed was provided triage services after he was screened and determined that his blood pressure was in "stroke range." We got him to the hospital where I learned he was having a heart attack. During his enrollment at our clinic, he receivbed by-pass surgery and had stints inserted in several arteries. One of the nurses who called me to provide us with updates on his condition said, "Kay, if you had not examined him that day, he would have died in his van in the church parking lot." It was then that I learned that his Gloucester County address was a church and he had been homeless and living in his van in the church parking lot for the past six months. Thanks to Gloucester-Mathews Free Clinic, there was NO headlines that read, "Homeless man dies in church parking lot."
As a dental hygienist I have been a member of the Dental Committee for the Gloucester-Mathews Free Clinic for ten years. Our goal has been to establish a dental clinic as an integral part of the medical clinic. We have had the support from the administration and the board because they believe in the proven connection between oral health and systemic health. During the years that we have worked on bringing a free dental clinic to our area we have created "Clinic Without Walls' where area dentists provide free dental care to patients of the GMFC; provided free dental screenings to elementary children in Gloucester and Mathews; provided a mobile dental van to patients of the Free Clinic; organized two day free dental clinics to area residents through the Virginia Dental Association Foundation's "Mission of Mercy" program. As plans are being made to build a new home for the GMFC, plans for a dental clinic are an important part of that dream that will soon be realized with help from our community.
I have watched the Gloucester Mathews Free Clinic grow and help serve our rural community over the years. It has provided much needed medical and dental care to many of our neighbors and reduced admittance to the Emergency Room. Even more than that, it has given people a health care home, where they know the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and volunteers will listen and keep up with their healthcare needs. And now we are in the process of being able to grow even more, as we raise the $2.5 million needed to move from our current 1200 square foot building to our new 9,000 square foot facillity. I am particularly pleased that for almost a year we have been able to provide dental services through the help of all our dental care volunteers and a partnership with our local health department. I don't think you will find a better group of personnel in any health care setting and certainly not a better group of patients than at the Gloucester Mathews Free Clinic.
My husband and I have been , and currently are going through some financially difficult times . Someone at church told us about the Clinic . That following week we went there to fill out all neccesary paperwork and qualified for assistance . At that time both of us were in desparate need for dental care . So , when an opening appt. came we both were trying to give the appt. to each other due to who's pain was worse . I was fortunate to get that one . I had been in terrible pain for some time and needed antibiotics and ended having the tooth extracted . My husband had a cracked tooth , and he also went on antibiotics and had extraction . Earlier this evening , I had my second appt . This time it was on three of my front teeth that were darkened by cavities and I had become so self- concious .Talking , smiling and somewhat just being around people . I didn't even like looking in the mirror while brushing my teeth or even my hair , I felt awful . The whole time they were working on my teeth I layed back Thanking God for this wonderful oppurtunity that I had been blessed with to have my teeth fixed . They , ( the Dentist and his assistants ) were so very kind to me and didn't make me feel ashamed or that I was less than . So tonight I want to Thank You all that are involved in such a Wonderful Program and Giving of yourselves , your time and kindness . I still have financial problems but now I can SMILE proudly because of all of you . When I look in the mirror I won't only see myself I will see you , all of you ! Thank you not just from the bottom of my heart but from all my heart . I even took a picture of me smiling and sent it to my 8 yr. old grandaughter and she was so Happy for me ,too . You all are So Very Special and I am truely grateful , Sincerely !
The Gloucester Mathews Free Clinic has been dedicated to serving clients since 1998. They take much pride in their patients and care on a daily basis. They are always striving to help those that do not have medical or dental benefits and also to help provide diagnostic workups at area hospitals free of charge and have a lists of specialists who will see patients and provide speciality services for little or no cost to the patient. I believe if they had a bigger facility they could really help a lot more people in need.
The Gloucester Mathews Free Clinic serves the individuals in our community that otherwise would not recieve the medical care that is so badly needed. The patients can hardly meet the routine expenses of their daily lives, much less the sky rocking costs of medical care. I have seen first hand, the devotation that the board members, staff and voluteers have for this orginazation. Our goal is to provide the people of our community healthcare options that would not be available to them without this clinic. From everyday illnesses, chronic care issues and dental health, our clinic works to help all that we can. We strive to improve and promote the health of the low income, uninsured adults by providing or arranging free health care services. Many of our patients thank us every day for being able to meet their needs. I cannot say enough about this clinic and what is has done for our community.