Dallas, U.S.A. — The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) will hold the latest C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic for uninsured people in Dallas in September. The free clinic, held in conjunction with the Lone Star Association of Charitable Clinics (LSACC) and the North Texas Association of Charitable Clinics (NTACC), is scheduled for September 29 at the Dallas Convention Center, Hall A, 650 South Griffin St., and will be open for patients from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“While the political pundits discuss at length the pros and cons of the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, free and charitable clinics remain committed to providing health care to the medically underserved throughout the country,” NAFC Executive Director Nicole Lamoureux said. “With future implementation of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid in question in Texas and other states, we recognize that it is critical for the medically underserved to receive access to health care today and in the immediate future.”
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the country with about 26 percent of residents in general and 22 percent of children lacking health insurance. The overall uninsured rate is about the same in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but the situation for children is even worse with 26.4 percent lacking health insurance. Further, among people living in poverty, the rate of being uninsured soars to 46 percent.
“In 2009 the first C.A.R.E. Clinic was held in Houston and now three years later the needs in Texas and in the Dallas area remain incredibly high,” LSACC Executive Director Jody Hopkins said. “Charitable clinics provide health care to many of our state’s residents with little to no state or federal support. Charitable clinics are an important, critical and often overlooked member of the safety net and we look forward to not only providing health care to those who need it, but also shining a light on those clinics who provide care daily in Texas.”
Both medical and nonmedical volunteers are needed from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on the day of the clinic, Sept. 29, as well as for setup on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 27, and all day Friday, Sept. 28.
Medical volunteers needed for the Dallas clinic include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, emergency medical technicians, medical administrators, licensed clinical social workers and more. Non-medical volunteers are needed to help with documentation, logistical support, patient intake and translation, as well as to be patient greeters and escorts.
Information on the event and how to register is available online at: www.nafcclinics.org/. Information on how to donate to support this and future clinics is also available at that address by clicking on the “Donate Now” button.
This will be the 12th in a series of large C.A.R.E. Clinics held around the country to bring together physicians and other health care professionals, as well as non-medical volunteers, to serve the needs of thousands of people who might otherwise go without medical care and to connect them to local safety-net resources.
Since September 2009, more than 15,000 uninsured patients have received medical care at C.A.R.E. Clinics. The clinics have been held in: Houston; New Orleans (three times); Little Rock; Kansas City; Hartford; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Charlotte; and Tacoma, Wash.
“Our C.A.R.E. Clinics have continued to show that volunteerism is alive and well in our nation,” Lamoureux said. “We look forward to working with the Dallas community to provide health care to those who may not have access and to connect the uninsured with safety-net providers such as charitable clinics, sliding-scale clinics and federally qualified health centers near where they live so that patients can receive regular treatment on an ongoing basis.”