Though we tend to avoid re-reporting Dallas news on our side of the Metroplex (except for the Cowboys, which actually play on our side), there’s a free medical clinic in Dallas on September 29 for those who lack health insurance.
Fort Worthians in such a predicament can also take advantage of the clinic, though anyone interested should make an appointment by calling 1-800-340-1301, as walk-ins may not have a chance to see a doctor.
More importantly, the clinic is still short of about 30 doctors needed to treat the 1,000 or more uninsured Metroplex residents expected to show up.
The Dallas Morning News reported on the clinic’s need for doctors Tuesday, and many signed up as a result. However, more are still needed.
So if you’re a healthcare professional and think you can help, here’s the lowdown in a news release from the organization hosting the clinic:
DALLAS – The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is calling on physicians and other health care professionals, as well as non-medical volunteers, to participate in the upcoming large free clinic for uninsured persons at the Dallas Convention Center, Hall A, 650 South Griffin St., on Sept. 29.
The NAFC will hold its latest C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic in conjunction with the Lone Star Association of Charitable Clinics (LSACC) and the North Texas Association of Charitable Clinics (NTACC).
“We are hopeful that many individuals in the community will volunteer at this one-day, life-altering event,” NAFC Executive Director Nicole Lamoureux said. “This C.A.R.E. Clinic is funded and made possible through the generosity of private citizens and sponsors, not one tax payer dollar is being utilized to pay for this clinic. In order for us to provide much needed free health care for as many uninsured patients as possible, we will need 100 doctors, 300-400 nurses and 500 or more non-medical volunteers.”
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.
“This free clinic is not just for the sick but also for anyone who is uninsured and has not seen a doctor recently,” LSACC Executive Director Jody Hopkins said. “Some patients have not seen a doctor in several years, others need follow-ups because they have chronic diseases, and some simply need checkups or physicals. The one characteristic they all share is limited access to get such care. All participants will receive preventive, primary medical care and be connected to the area’s safety-net providers and available resources.”
Both medical and non-medical 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 website address by clicking on the “Donate Now” button. Patients register for an appointment by calling 800-340-1301.
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 throughout the country.