News

Random Act of Kindness Week 2017

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Starting this week of February 12th – 18th, we will be celebrating Random Act of Kindness Week! The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has created this celebration of positivity to turn the world kind. We are kicking off #RAKWeek2017 with a bang here at the clinic, and this certainly isn’t difficult to do with such wonderful patients, volunteers and staff. It takes just one simple, thoughtful action such as a smile or a “Hello!” to turn someone’s day around and create a chain reaction of kindness.

At the Clearwater Free Clinic, we strive each day to provide life-changing healthcare to the uninsured in our community. We sure love our patients, especially because they are so grateful for the care they are able to receive by our dedicated volunteers and staff. Not only does kindness decrease pain and stress, but it also can increase energy, happiness and even your lifespan!

So what are you waiting for? Join us this week and share your #RAKWeek2017 story, and even challenge your family and friends to do the same. Together, we can turn the world kind. Stay tuned all week for more kindness facts and stories!

 

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Tampa Bay Times: Letter to the Editor

Florida’s Free Clinics Providing for the Uninsured

Tampa Bay Times, January 30, 2017

Every year, Florida’s free and charitable clinics serve tens of thousands of low-income, uninsured and underserved Floridians.

As executive director of the Clearwater Free Clinic, I see firsthand the people who are impacted and benefit directly from the clinic’s medical and behavioral health services, from chronic disease management to lifesaving cancer treatment.

In 2016, the more than 100 volunteer-driven free clinics of the Florida Association of Free & Charitable Clinics received $10 million in appropriations. As champions for the underserved, state Sen. Jack Latvala and Reps. Chris Sprowls and Larry Ahern gave their full support to this effort, for which we are grateful.

Our clinic’s share of this appropriation has helped fund an additional nurse practitioner, expand behavioral health services and increase programs. The Legislature’s support has significantly benefited our local community by helping us address the ongoing needs of 73 percent of clinic patients who have one or more chronic illnesses.

Maintaining this level of funding for free clinics in 2017 is important. Continued appropriations provide access to critical health care services for the staggering number of Florida’s uninsured.

Healthier individuals are more independent and are able to remain working, remain in school or find a job. This contributes to the health of our community and decreases overall health care costs by preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

The Clearwater Free Clinic and our state network of free clinics continue to be the backbone of affordable health care for the uninsured in Florida. We hope we can count on continued support from the Legislature in 2017.

Jeannie Shapiro, Executive Director, Clearwater Free Clinic, Clearwater

View the full published article here.

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Today is National Wear Red Day!

wear redFebruary 3rd, 2017 is National Wear Red Day, a national holiday created by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to raise awareness that heart disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women per year. These staggering numbers make heart disease the number one killer of women in our country.

Of course, heart disease takes men’s lives in devastating numbers as well. However, heart disease in women is more often overlooked. There is a great need for understanding and education about how the disease can effect the women in our lives. On this day and always, it is important to seek out information and remain diligent in maintaining our heart health.

This year marks the fifteenth year since the inception of National Wear Red Day, a day that seeks to promote women’s heart health and raise awareness of the prevalence of heart disease. We at the Clearwater Free Clinic just had to do our part to participate in this important national holiday and we hope you will too! Doesn’t our staff look great in red?

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Happy National Pharmacist’s Day!

Mark your calendars folks! Every year on January 12th, we celebrate those unsung heroes of the healthcare industry with National Pharmacist’s Day. Here at the Clearwater Free Clinic, every day is Pharmacist’s Day because we wouldn’t be able to satisfy our patients’ needs without our wonderful volunteer pharmacists. Their expertise, care and dedication is what keeps our clinic running seamlessly and providing cost-free medications to those that need them.

IMG_0712 (002)Today, we’d like to highlight one of our own, Debbie. She has been a volunteer pharmacist at the Clearwater Free Clinic since 2009 and selflessly gives her time to those in need, even with her responsibilities at the Morton Plant Hospital where she works. Her favorite part about working here at the clinic? The patients. “The people you get to work with. The patients always seem so nice and appreciative.” She speaks particularly about one patient, Doreen who has had difficulty accepting care in the past but has really taken to Debbie and her kind and humorous nature. This self-proclaimed cat-lover makes our clinic family whole!

Pharmacists do so much more for patients than most realize. They have the knowledge to educate others about how to use their medications and the compassionate understanding to counsel. We know that our clinic simply wouldn’t be the same without our volunteer pharmacists.

So, here’s to Debbie, our pharmacy team here at the Clearwater Free Clinic and all of the pharmacists out there! We thank you for all that you do. Is there a pharmacist in your life that you’d like to thank today? Let them know they are loved!

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Meet Our 2017 Martinis & Matisse Honorary Chairs: Kim & Ray Ferrara

ferrara_photoKim and Ray Ferrara are serving as the Honorary Chairs for the 2017 Martinis & Matisse event. A highly-successful financial planner, Ray is considered a national expert in his field and has just received the P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award from the Financial Planning Association for his significant contributions to the profession and his values of integrity, competence, relationships, and stewardship. Ray has chaired many local boards including Morton Plant Mease Healthcare, Eckerd Youth Alternatives and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. Kim has been a volunteer for the Clearwater Free Clinic, Women on the Way, and the Girls Club, to name a few. Since their arrival in 1979, Ray and Kim have been very strongly committed to the Clearwater community, and the Clearwater Free Clinic is honored to welcome their support of our signature event.

 

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Meet Our 2017 Martinis & Matisse Featured Artist: Heather Kendall

heather_kendall_headshotIf you attended last year’s Martinis & Matisse, you surely remember the shell-encrusted mirror on display as you entered the gallery. The buzz created by that show-stopping piece has resulted in the choice of Heather Kendall as the 2017 Featured Artist.

Heather spent her childhood at the North End of Clearwater Beach where she grew up gathering the shells that would become both her passion and her livelihood. “I create custom seashell designs including mirrors, chandeliers, sconces and plenty of decorative items. I’ve been designing with seashells for over 14 years now and my pieces can be found in beautiful homes and select stores from Southampton, NY to Boca Grande, FL to La Jolla, CA.”

Be sure to meet Heather on January 21st. In the meantime, check out Heather Kendall Designs at http://www.elegantshells.net.

 

 

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Check out our Winter 2016 Newsletter!

2016-winter-newsletter-1The Clearwater Free Clinic’s Winter 2016 Newsletter is hot off the press!  If you did not receive a copy and would like to receive future mailings, sign up at the bottom of the page.  If you would like to view it now click below.

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This newsletter is filled with information about our Annual Report, Martinis and Matisse, volunteer stories, the volunteer luncheon and more.  Please make sure to check it out!

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Give the Gift of Health

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Are you struggling to figure out what to get your friends and family for the holidays? Give the gift of health to an uninsured local family. Make a donation to the Clearwater Free Clinic in honor of someone and we will send them a holiday card letting them know of your generosity.  For more info call 727-331-8149

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Giving Tuesday 2016

Between the extra helpings and extra items in the cart, you might forget the holidays aren’t actually about taking, but giving, and Giving Tuesday, celebrated on November 29th this year, provides a gateway into just that. In its fourth year, the new “holiday” of sorts offers a selfless response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday by encouraging charitable giving and highlighting worthy causes.

Please join the Clearwater Free Clinic as we begin the holiday giving season on #GivingTuesday, November 29th. Help us provide medical care for those in our community who can’t afford it. As part of our #GivingTuesday plan, we are trying to provide comprehensive health care for 20 of our patients for a year. Because of the generosity of our community partners and our 150+ volunteers, the Clinic is able to provide:

  • $250 will provide 5 patients with diabetic meds & supplies for 1 month

  • $500 will provide the CFC with acute & chronic care meds for 2 days

  • $1000 will provide comprehensive medical care for a family of 4 for 1 year

Our goal is to raise $5,000 on #GivingTuesday. We want to challenge our community to give generously on this day that is designated to give to others.

Here in Pinellas County, 25% of our neighbors lack health insurance. Subsequently, their chronic illnesses are not monitored and controlled and, with any acute problem, they end up in the Emergency Room. With your gift, the Clearwater Free Clinic can provide comprehensive health care to these neighbors. Together, we can save lives.

There are several ways to get involved with the Clinic on #GivingTuesday.

First, please DONATE

You can help us meet our goal by giving generously. We are accepting Giving Tuesday donations early!  Remember, $250 will pay the Clinic’s share of a patient’s care for an entire year ($62 will pay for 3 months)! Donate below anytime between now and November 30th and your gift will be counted towards our goal $5000 goal.

POST on Social Media

You can help the Clearwater Free Clinic spread the word about #Giving Tuesday by posting on social media; be sure to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday in your posts

 

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How many nurses do you know?

Cl.Free.Clin 051Mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, classmates…nurses at the doctor’s office, nurses at the hospital, nurses at school, nurses at the walk-in clinic…

This is National Nurses Week, celebrated each year from May 6th through Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12th.  Here at the Clearwater Free Clinic we salute our nurses and recognize both the knowledge and the heart that they have.  Nurses study hard and learn much in the classroom, in clinical practice, and in the daily routines of nursing.  They need to know when to question an order, how to revive a patient in crisis, how to perform intricate and demanding medical tasks.

DSC_0058 (1024x678)Along with practiced technical skills, nurses also need tender hearts that provide care, education, and
encouragement to their patients.  Nurses try to make patients comfortable, gently re-explain diagnoses and treatment plans, and care for families in times of grief.  Nurses are our front-line medical caregivers, and this is their week!

If you would like to honor a special nurse that you know, click here to donate to the Clearwater Free Clinic where our volunteer nurses care for low-income, uninsured families here in Pinellas County.  Be sure to include your nurse’s name and address in the notes section so the Clinic can send a personal announcement of your gift; you will also receive an acknowledgment of your tax-deductible gift.  donate-now-big-engWhat better way to say “Thank You’” to a nurse who gives exemplary care than to provide nursing care to someone else who needs it?

Make a donation in honor of your favorite nurse Now!

 

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