This month marks 35 years that the Clearwater Free Clinic has provided quality medical care to uninsured families. This could not be done without the hundreds of doctors, nurses, clerks, pharmacists, PA’s etc that have volunteered their time to help the community over the years or the many community donations that have kept our doors open. Community support is the foundation of the CFC’s success. Here is a little trip down memory lane…
Officially established in 1977, the Clearwater Free Clinic was open one night a week and was located in a small rented house on Rogers Street. Early on, local churches and civic organizations helped with financial support and volunteers.
In 1985, seeing the need for a larger and more efficient facility, the local Kiwanis Clubs, various civic groups, and the community provided the funds to construct the Clinic’s current building. The community rallied again in 1997 to donate monies, goods, and services in conjunction with a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, to renovate and expand the Clinic. This grant, and a second one in 1999, were for construction and renovation only, and neither award was used for program or operating expenses. In 2002 The Pinellas Community Foundation provided grant funds for a 400 sq. ft. addition which included three exam rooms. The Clinic continues to operate without regular government funding, relying on monetary and in-kind donations from private individuals, businesses, religious and community organizations, and charitable foundations.
Today the Clinic, a renovated 4,000 square foot facility, is located at 707 N. Ft. Harrison Ave. in downtown Clearwater, Florida. A full-time grant funded Family Practice Nurse Practitioner began working at the Clearwater Free Clinic in January 2000, treating adults and incorporating pediatrics. With this position, the number of available appointments increased significantly.
Since its inception, the Clearwater Free Clinic has treated well over a hundred thousand needy patients, offering quality medical care at no cost to the patient.