Reprinted with permission of The Pilot

Free Care Clinic Open House

BY CLAUDIA WATSON

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 1.6 million uninsured individuals under the age of 65 live in North Carolina. Free clinics do not claim to be the answer, but rather an important part of the solution to the challenge of increasing access to health care for all North Carolinians.

On Tuesday, April 29, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the public is invited to tour the site of Moore Free Care Clinic's new 3,000-square-foot facility, which will open by the end of 2008. The new clinic will allow us to see more patients, add more services and decrease the waiting list time for appointments.

One of our fundamental beliefs is that inability to pay should not prevent people from receiving health care. We also believe all health care is "local" and that community-based planning, governance and collaboration are critical.

Without support from community donors and volunteers, our services would not be possible.

The North Carolina Association of Free Clinics, in partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, is making the Statewide Free Clinic Open House possible.

During 2006, free clinics delivered more than $67 million in health-care services to uninsured patients in North Carolina, thanks to the efforts of more than 7,800 volunteer professionals and other community volunteers.

Our clinic provided over $1.9 million in services and prescription medications to over 600 uninsured patients during 2007.

Clearly there is a need, and until there is an answer for the uninsured, our free clinic will continue to play a vital role within our community. I hope you will take the time to come and see what we are all about.

Claudia Watson
Moore Free Care Clinic Board
Carthage