News

Welcome Board Chairman: Bruce Livingston

B.Livingston 001Bruce Livingston is the Chairman of the Board of the Clearwater Free Clinic! We are honored to have Bruce lead the Clinic into the future as he heads the renovation project of our new facility that is currently underway. He has seen first hand the progress of the Clinic over the years and is excited for what is to come.
His ferver for the Clinic’s mission makes him the perfect candidate for the Board Chair position. The impact that the Clinic has on the health of the community is possible because of individuals like Bruce who see the potential of our organization and act in any way they can to help. He goes above and beyond to ensure that the CFC is running optimally and we will benefit immensely from his leadership!
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Summer 2017 Newsletter

We have a new look! Check out the Clearwater Free Clinic’ Summer 2017 newsletter!

CFC Summer 2017

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The Architecture of the New CFC Logo

We are so proud of our new logo and everything that it represents. The Clearwater Free Clinic is made up of such hardworking, dedicated and generous people that all make up the whole of our being organization.

 

Key elements that make up the Clearwater Free Clinic overlap and help fill the gap in health care for low-income, uninsured families.

Donors: Generous people in our community give their money, time and resources for the good of our cause.

Community Partners: These meaningful relationships have allowed for the growth of our programs and for the overall improvement of the quality of care our patients receive.

Volunteers: Committed volunteer doctors, nurses, clerks,  pharmacists and more give their valuable time to keep the clinic running.

Medical Care: Needy patients without access to health insurance receive comprehensive medical care from CFC staff and volunteers, including specialty care and medications.

Mental Health Care: A critical part of the comprehensive care our patients can count on, our mental health program is available to our patients who need it.

The Gap: Uninsured, low-income families.

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The CFC Celebrates 40 Years of Service!

The Clearwater Free clinic is celebrating our 40th year of serving low-income, uninsured families! We have much to celebrate as we embark on this venture to move our operation into a more accessible, integrated facility. As we grow and change with the increasing need for our services, our patients remain at the forefront of every step we take.

In 1977, the CFC began helping families without access to health care one night per week in a rented home. Over the past 40 years, the Clinic has served tens of thousands of families by providing them not only with medical and mental health care but also the medications needed to stay healthy and able to work. DSC_3810

Once the Clinic has officially begun operating in our new home, we expect our current programs to expand and improve. In addition, more space will create the environment needed for the inception of new programs and services for our growing patient population.

There are countless individuals and entities to thank for helping us along our 40 year journey. We are very thankful to be a part of this collaborative community that includes all of our hundreds of volunteers, dedicated community partners and generous donors, without whom we could not have accomplished so much. We are proud, excited and overwhelmed with gratitude as we ready ourselves to provide comprehensive medical and mental health care to the low-income, uninsured families in our community for the next 40 years!

 

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Update: Patient Progress Thanks to Bus Passes!

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The Clearwater Free Clinic recently received a very generous grant from the North Pinellas Woman’s Club allowing for us to provide one-day bus passes for our patients who struggle with getting to and from their appointments at the Clinic. Our patients are held accountable for arriving to their appointments, but for those who rely on public transportation or have difficulty accessing transportation, being timely can prove to be a major challenge. In order to relieve this burden, we are now able to give bus passes to our patients, free of charge! Pamela is a thriving example of how this seemingly simple gesture made a huge difference in her health care and recovery.

Having seen Pamela when she first arrived at the Clinic, many of our volunteers and staff members hardly recognized the lively, smiling face that walked through the door to receive her medications a week ago. No longer in need of a wheelchair, she was walking with ease. She had more energy than ever and was feeling great. Pamela previously had missed appointments due to lack of transportation, but with a bus pass in her pocket, her possibilities broadened and she is extremely grateful! We could not be happier to see her progress. Thank you North Pinellas Women’s Club!

 

 

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Painting for a Cause: Get Creative for the Clinic

Have we mentioned how much we love Radiance Medspa and Beach Art Center!? These two wonderful local establishments hosted a fabulous and intimate event for the benefit of the Clearwater Free Clinic! What could be better than tapping into your artsy side while sipping wine with friends?

Funds were raised at this fun event that will go directly to the programs and services that our patients rely on for their health care needs. We are a part of an interconnected community and without the dedication and generosity of so many great people, we could not serve so many of the under-served. Thank you Beach Art Center and Radiance MedSpa for your hospitality and for such a successful event!

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WE HAVE BIG NEWS!

We are so pleased to officially announce that by the end of this year, our 40th year of serving the community, the Clinic will be moving into a new facility. This big move will enable the expansion of our programs and services while allowing for overall better care for our low-income, uninsured patients.DSC_0031.1

We have dubbed this critical initiative the Building a Healthy Community Campaign to signify that this is an effort that will not only benefit the community overall, but requires the support of our beloved community as well!

Please join us in celebrating this monumental next step for our organization and in thanking the contributors who have helped support this endeavor!

More information to come! Visit www.clearwaterfreeclinic.org/cc to make your three year pledge today.

 

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Patient Story: Paula

“I have lived in Clearwater with my husband Harald and our daughter Ashleigh for the past 19 years. I am 60 years old and Herald is 63. When we first moved to Florida I knew we were going to buy a house and remain in that house throughout our retirement years. I first found work with the Pinellas County School system. I was happy to have good health care benefits and I became the primary benefit holder for our family.

A friend called me one day and said there was an opening at a Charter School in Dunedin, Academie Da Vinci, a school for the arts. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me, but leaving the school system was a tough decision and meant giving up the Florida Retirement pension and making some changes in the way Herald and I chose our health care coverage. Who was going to cover our family? I decided to take the risk and take a position at Academie Da Vinci as an Office Manager. Herald would now be the one to carry the responsibility of the family’s health care benefits.

Years went by, 12 years in fact, and in the meantime Harald and I were planning our retirement. Harald would retire at 62 and I would remain at my job until I turned 63. By the time I retired, Harald would be receiving Medicare benefits and we would pay out of pocket for my health care coverage.

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In May of 2016, Harald retired. He adopted Cobra coverage and I took health insurance with my job. Unfortunately, our plan did not work out. As of July 1, 2016 I was no longer employed at Academie Da Vinci. I was left with no health care coverage and looking at the prospect of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Harald had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2015 and takes insulin shots twice per day.

I became depressed and my weight began to skyrocket. I had no desire to do anything and I was searching for a solution. I had never been without health care before and, like so many in this community, I found myself wondering, how did this happen to me and what am I going to do?

One morning, my sister Michele called. She said, “Get dressed. I’m taking you to the Clearwater Free Clinic.” Michele knew of the Clinic because the doctor she works for had treated quite a few patients referred to him by the Clinic. I really didn’t feel at all like getting dressed and thought there was no way I could actually get treated by a doctor for free.

The first thing I did was look at the Clinic’s website. It said free health care. All you have to do is make a donation: whatever you can afford. I actually couldn’t believe it.

I got all of my documentation together and off we went. When we arrived, the first person who greeted us was so friendly, made me feel so comfortable, that I immediately breathed a sigh of relief. I had never imagined myself being in this position needing a helping hand. I just needed a hand up, not a hand out.

 

Maybe I could get the help I needed – just maybe.

I filled out the paperwork and provided my documentation and as it turned out, I qualified and was going to be able to see a doctor that day. I was not expecting this and had no cash on me for a donation. Little did I know, my sister had already made a donation on my behalf.

My mind was racing. I couldn’t believe there was a place I could go for my medicine, make a donation that I could afford, and see a doctor. I immediately started thinking how I could give back to this extraordinary program. After all, it is run only through donations. Donations from people who care about people like me.

Since that first day, I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I am now on three different medications, all of which I get from the Clinic. I am also seeing a nutritionist who has helped me to lose 22 pounds (and counting!) and a behavioral health specialist who has helped me with my depression. Among these services, I have also received blood work, a mammogram and a pap smear.

Harald and I were even invited to join a Go Healthy class. This program consisted of a two hour meeting one day per week for a total of six weeks. Mary and Gloria, our instructors, became fast friends. We learned so much about the self-management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, depression, asthma and other physical and mental conditions.

I’m happy to say that the Clearwater Free Clinic has given me the inspiration I need to take better care of my health. I know that I am important. I am important enough that people have made donations to this very worthy cause to help people like me. With very heartfelt thanks to the donors, the staff and the volunteers at the Clinic, my husband and I are very grateful.”

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Patient Story: Rick

DSC_0048Rick can hardly remember a time before the Clearwater Free Clinic. A longtime fisherman in the Clearwater area, access to affordable health insurance through his work was not a luxury that he was allowed. He first sought out the Clinic’s care a few years ago when he was between jobs and ineligible for government programs, like Medicare. He knew he needed medical care, and he knew just where he could get it.

“The Clearwater Free Clinic staff and volunteers always treat you with respect, not like you are looking for a hand out,” he gushes. He recalls a time when he frequented a free clinic in another state and often felt belittled by those that were supposed to be caring for him and his family. Thankfully, his experience at the Clearwater Free Clinic would be one that would change his mind about the kind of care individuals and families can receive at free clinics.

Upon arriving at the Clinic with hopes to receive treatment for another chronic condition, Clinic nurse practitioner Jan along with one of our trusted volunteer cardiologists decided to refer him to a specialist. Rick was diagnosed with arrhythmia, a potentially dangerous heart condition. Through the Clinic, he was able to receive medications to help regulate his condition and even receive preventative care, like prostate exams and follow up appointments.

Now insured through Medicaid, he remains the self-proclaimed biggest fan of the Clearwater Free Clinic. He now trusts the Clinic with his daughter’s health care needs; she is one of our newest patients and will likely be treated by some of the same nurses and doctors that provided him with the superior health care that improved his quality of life.

 

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Spring 2017 Newsletter!

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