Since 2004, Caring Hearts Free Clinic of Patrick County has been committed to providing free, non-judgmental, quality healthcare to indigent and uninsured residents of Patrick County.
Fund-raising is a huge part of the success of Caring Hearts Free Clinic. Executive Director Christie Fain said, “Without donations from community partners, businesses, and individuals, we would not be able to keep providing uninsured patients with the much-needed medical services they require.”
Blue Ridge Therapy Connection has generously offered to sponsor “Share Your Heart with Pasta” on Monday, Feb. 13, from 4-7 p.m. This will be a to-go meal consisting of chicken linguine with Caesar salad and a decadent mini cannoli.
Caring Hearts and Blue Ridge ask that those interested please pre-order by calling (276) 694-3050. Cost is $8 per meal. Blue Ridge Therapy Connection can also accommodate large group orders. Those ordering food may drive up to the front door of Blue Ridge Therapy Connection and volunteers will bring the food out to the car. All proceeds will go directly toward Caring Hearts Free Clinic.
Although the clinic expected to see a decrease in its patient population due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, this has not occurred and the need for free healthcare has continued to increase in Patrick County, Fain said.
“Virginia refused to expand the Medicaid program and people now find themselves in a ‘coverage gap.’ Free Clinic patients cannot afford the premiums for the plans offered on the exchange nor can they afford the deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses required,” she explained.
“We continue to have new patients at each clinic event and the demand for services continues to grow. It will be interesting to see what impact a new presidency will have on the ACA, although the results of this election would certainly point to changes in the current Act,” Fain said. “Until any changes occur, the clinic is here and will continue to do what we have always done: continue to serve the indigent and uninsured patients of Patrick County.”
In 2016, Caring Hearts saw 595 unduplicated patients and had 1,464 patient visits over 100 clinic events. Patients who come to the clinic receive a full range of services, including primary medical care, laboratory services, assistance with medications, dental care, eye care, women’s healthcare, physical therapy, behavioral health care and referrals for specialized healthcare and diagnostic tests.
The clinic currently has two nurse practitioners who are available to see patients on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Due to the high volume of patients seen at the clinic, the nurse practitioners work by appointment only.
Anyone who needs to schedule an appointment with a nurse practitioner should please call (276) 694-3410.