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Clinic sees 956 patients

The Free Clinic of Pulaski County provided primary healthcare to 956 Pulaski County citizens during the 2008 fiscal year.
This healthcare was provided to citizens who lacked health insurance or who otherwise could not afford to pay for medical care on their own.
These residents were assisted at 1,711 patient visits in open and by-appointment clinics, according to Gary Elander, executive director of the Free Clinic, who has been compiling information about the clinic over the past year.
In addition, Elander said that more than 6,500 30-day prescriptions were provided to treat acute and chronic conditions, and nearly 1,200 hours were donated by volunteering physicians, nurses and others who help at the each clinic.
Citing a note of concern for 2009, Elander said he anticipates a “surge in need as the health benefits expire for Volvo employees laid off in 2008 and now in 2009, and also for TMD Friction employees and other local reductions in force.”
The Free Clinic was originally created in 1982 by “community leaders who saw a need for care for people who worked jobs without health benefits or were in transition between jobs but not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid,” Elander said.
The Free Clinic is housed in the Philip Sadler Center on North Jefferson Street in Pulaski. Sadler was a founding father of the clinic. The clinic resides in a building provided by the First Presbyterian Church as a service to the community.
For many years, the Free Clinic operated with just one clinic weekly on Thursday evenings. People would walk in, be screened to determine eligibility, and then be seen by volunteer medical staff. Area physicians and nurses would provide initial treatment and follow-up appointments would occur as needed.
However, about four and a half years ago, the clinic began efforts to increase service.
Elander said one important development was “developing a partnering relationship with Pulaski Community Hospital. Beginning initially with hospital Chief Executive Officer Jack Nunley, and continuing forward to the present with CEO Mark Rader, hospital services became available to Free Clinic patients.”
Elander added that “hundreds of Pulaski County Free Clinic patients were able to have diagnostic testing and essential procedures done as a result of this relationship.”

A second relationship that has developed is with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“Not many people know this, but since January 2005, the college has donated the services of a doctor and often medical students at the Free Clinic in service to Pulaski County citizens,” Elander said, adding that hundreds of uninsured residents have been assisted by this “caring outreach effort.”

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Clinic sees 956 patients

The Free Clinic of Pulaski County provided primary healthcare to 956 Pulaski County citizens during the 2008 fiscal year.
This healthcare was provided to citizens who lacked health insurance or who otherwise could not afford to pay for medical care on their own.
These residents were assisted at 1,711 patient visits in open and by-appointment clinics, according to Gary Elander, executive director of the Free Clinic, who has been compiling information about the clinic over the past year.
In addition, Elander said that more than 6,500 30-day prescriptions were provided to treat acute and chronic conditions, and nearly 1,200 hours were donated by volunteering physicians, nurses and others who help at the each clinic.
Citing a note of concern for 2009, Elander said he anticipates a “surge in need as the health benefits expire for Volvo employees laid off in 2008 and now in 2009, and also for TMD Friction employees and other local reductions in force.”
The Free Clinic was originally created in 1982 by “community leaders who saw a need for care for people who worked jobs without health benefits or were in transition between jobs but not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid,” Elander said.
The Free Clinic is housed in the Philip Sadler Center on North Jefferson Street in Pulaski. Sadler was a founding father of the clinic. The clinic resides in a building provided by the First Presbyterian Church as a service to the community.
For many years, the Free Clinic operated with just one clinic weekly on Thursday evenings. People would walk in, be screened to determine eligibility, and then be seen by volunteer medical staff. Area physicians and nurses would provide initial treatment and follow-up appointments would occur as needed.
However, about four and a half years ago, the clinic began efforts to increase service.
Elander said one important development was “developing a partnering relationship with Pulaski Community Hospital. Beginning initially with hospital Chief Executive Officer Jack Nunley, and continuing forward to the present with CEO Mark Rader, hospital services became available to Free Clinic patients.”
Elander added that “hundreds of Pulaski County Free Clinic patients were able to have diagnostic testing and essential procedures done as a result of this relationship.”

A second relationship that has developed is with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“Not many people know this, but since January 2005, the college has donated the services of a doctor and often medical students at the Free Clinic in service to Pulaski County citizens,” Elander said, adding that hundreds of uninsured residents have been assisted by this “caring outreach effort.”

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