Moore Free Care Clinic Contact:
Claudia Watson, Email: cwatson87@nc.rr.com
910-215-4552; 910-315-3868 cell

NEWS RELEASE...

Moore Free Care Clinic to Provide $2 Million in Health Care Services to the Moore County Community in its First Year of Operation


November 4, 2004 - Carthage, N.C.
- Moore Free Care Clinic estimates it will provide $2 million in health care value to the Moore County community within its first year of operation. These benefits include over $1 million in prescription medicines and medication assistance enrollments, and $915,280 in patient visits, diagnostic tests, specialty care referrals, and volunteer assistance.

"We are clearly stunned by the growing need and urgency of this situation in our community," says Dr. H. David Bruton, chairman of the clinic's board of directors. "These are our neighbors. Many of the patients work but cannot afford health care or do not have access to health care benefits through their workplace. Many others are living below the poverty level and just can't get ahead."

The Moore Free Care Clinic, which opened in April and operates two evenings a week, has recorded over 500 patient visits in the first six months. "We plan to expand clinic hours in the near future and estimate that we'll handle over 1,872 patient visits in its first year," explains Bruton.

The clinic's patients do not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, or any other public health programs. When they are faced with a health care crisis they often end up in the hospital emergency room, where their treatment is much more costly both in terms of human suffering as well as monetary expense. This financial burden is borne by paying patients and others in the community who ultimately cover the cost through higher health care fees and insurance premiums.

"It's imperative that the community realizes that it is the ultimate safety net. This is not a problem that has an easy or fast answer. It's going to take time to reshape our public health care system," Bruton says. "This clinic opened thanks to the generosity of the community and it depends upon the community for its continued existence."

The Moore Free Care Clinic will launch is first public fundraising campaign later this month, hoping to raise $200,000 by March 2005. Additional funding is also being pursued through grants from private foundations.

Bruton says the clinic's annual operating budget is about $250,000. "This shows the value of every dollar we receive. We are able to leverage that dollar to eight times its value to the community through volunteerism," he says. "But, the medical care is free only for the patient."

The clinic's start-up phase has been funded by contributions from the physician community, including the Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, Pinehurst Medical Clinic and a matching contribution from FirstHealth of the Carolinas. In addition, the clinic received an anonymous $100,000 donation from a resident of Moore County and a $50,000 start-up grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina.

"Without these gifts, the doors would not have opened," says Bruton. "Now we need to focus on keeping the doors open and expanding our clinic hours to serve more needy folks."

Medical and citizen volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, including administrative work, data entry, fundraising and special events. To volunteer or for more information, call 910-947-6550 or visit its website, www.MooreFreeCare.org and click the Volunteer Opportunities tab. Contributions to the clinic may be mailed to Moore Free Care Clinic, P.O. Box 161, Pinehurst, NC 28370.

About Moore Free Care Clinic

Moore Free Care Clinic provides high-quality primary, preventive and specialty care to limited income people living in Moore County who are uninsured and can't afford access to health care. Health care services at the clinic are provided by volunteers, including physicians, nurses, lab technicians, physician assistants, and clerical workers. The clinic is located at 705 Pinehurst Avenue, Carthage, NC 28327. For more information about the clinic, its volunteer opportunities or to provide a donation, please contact the clinic 910-947-6550 or visit its website, www.MooreFreeCare.org.