Clearwater Free Clinic Connects Health Care


In todays environment, health care environment, it’s often times difficult for people low-income to obtain healthcare. The
Clearwater free clinic connects the useful pieces in the puzzle of health
care providing critical care to uninsured patients, a service benefiting
the entire community. We’ve evolved into a kind of a chronic disease management
program for a lot of our patients we try to keep them from being on that
revolving door to the emergency room and inpatient hospitalizations. Everybody
else here is a volunteer. Since 1977 the clinic has been operating through donations of time
money and supplies successfully caring for thousands of patients in dire need
of comprehensive medical care. It’s like a well choreographed dance it truly is.
Jeannie Shapiro is the executive director at the clinic and shares the complex
nature of caring for patients along with organizing volunteer hours donated
supplies and funding. Knowledge is power, so I feel if we can introduce what they
have, their medical problem in the most simplistic terms, then they’re able to
contribute and be a part of it. We are a neighborhood, you know we like to capture our citizens in our in our area here in North Pinellas County. Our goal is to
keep them as I said out of the hospital at emergency room, those expensive care
locations try to keep him stable and as optimally functional the taking continue
to work patients do have some requirements to
pay what they can they are asked to provide a donation if possible every
time they come and this is not foreseeing the physician because that is
free but it’s to help offset our operating
costs and the medications that we buy and provide them and other services and
medical supplies doctors including specialists and
surgeons from all over the Tampa Bay area volunteer their time at the clinic
student volunteers including USF Health College of Nursing students donate their
time at the clinic with opportunities for learning and engagement I had
doctors come in here and they’ll come to me and I’ll say I don’t know how this
works I don’t know how you guys do this I was here for three hours today and I
still more pathology today than I see in three years at my practice there are
limitations to the extent of care the clinic improvised and they also
encounter cases that are too difficult to diagnose which is where I medical
academic center like USF Health could be a resource for research and discovery we
do run into barriers will figure out a way to get around it we we work hard to
accomplish that for USF Health I’m Katy Hennig.

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