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.
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why would this story be any different than any others when speaking about the Free Clinic? Well, because it's mine. I have been volunteering for about 16 years now and I am rewarded everytime I go. My reward is having the family I work with and all the families that you have no idea of their hardships and how you have helped, but rest assured, if you volunteer you have touched someone! The Free Clinic is a special place to be a part of for all the blessed work they do for others. The staff goes out of their way to help anyone and everyone they can. Patients feel welcome and safe. God Bless all volunteers and THANK YOU to the paid staff for all the hard work you do so we can volunteer and continue to help others.
The clinic truly embraces diversity. The environment is friendly. All staff members that I have met so far show eagerness, care and respect with each patient that I have been present. It is a great place to volunteer!
Several times a week people without insurance can come to the clinic where dedicated health care professions caringly and generously volunteer their time and experience to help them get necessary care. The clinic has medical, dental, and vision help. They also have help with some prescriptions and immunizations. They are very good at referring clients to other resources in the community.
I have been a volunteer with the Free Clinic of SW WA as a physician for almost 2 years. Extremely well organized wonderful staff who serve the much needed working class uninsured population with their only safety net for healthcare.
I love working at the Free Clinic at Southwest Washinton. i was a intensive care n urse for 40 years and this is my way to give back to the community. I enjoy all the dedicated people I work with and the patients are very appreciative. Sincerely, Dana Ostenson
I help at the Pharmacy, and feel so glad to see the people come in for help, for without the free clinic where would they go? THANK YOU FREE CLINIC OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON. For all you do in front and behind the scenes.
I first started volunteering as a physician at the Free Clinic when I was a resident. Though I felt a little clueless, everyone there was gracious and happy to help me when I didn't know what to do for someone. They were doing such good work for the community that I continued volunteering when I graduated and established a practice here, and I have now been involved with the Free Clinic for 10 years. I have seen them grow and adapt in an effort to serve the swelling need to care for the uninsured as unemployment has risen. They have recruited more physicians to provide acute care, and gone in new directions like developing a diabetes program to help people learn to manage this devastating disease. They not only provide free physician visits with endocrinologists, they provide patient's with dietary training, testing supplies and medications at no cost. They have also created a local branch of Project Access, which provides free primary care and specialist procesures that would be completely inaccessible to the uninsured due to cost. The people are wonderful, caring, and respectful to all who come to the clinic. I will continue volunteering there as long as I am a part of this this community.