News

The Clearwater Free Clinic Celebrates Doctors’ Day

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Thursday, March 30th, is “National Doctors’ Day”…a day of celebration established to recognize physicians and the many contributions they make each day. When sick or in pain, in body or mind, we seek the help of doctors to heal us. Often times, we may not recognize all of the efforts and accomplishments of our doctors as they work to keep us healthy. It is difficult to imagine what society would be like without doctors of all kinds to care for us when we need them.

Did you know that last year, there were 922 million visits to physicians in America? The Clearwater Free Clinic invites you to celebrate the doctors in your life and let them know how much you value their medical expertise, kindness, compassion, or simple willingness to listen.

Say thank you by making a donation to the Clearwater Free Clinic in their honor and the Clinic will send an acknowledgment(s) of your gratitude.

To which doctor(s) would you like to give an extra dose of gratitude on this Doctors’ Day 2017?

What better way to honor a physician than to provide medical care to those in need? Fill out the below form and make a donation today!

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Give Day Tampa Bay Save the Date: May 2nd, 2017

Give Day Tampa Bay is at it again this year with a brand new website and even bigger goals! Give Day Tampa Bay 2016 was able to raise $2.1 million for 595 local nonprofits that make Tampa Bay a better place to be. On top of that large figure, $123,000 in prizes went to participating nonprofits as well! Not to mention all of this fundraising happens in only 24 hours… Impressive to say the least.

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The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay offers this giving opportunity to draw attention to the work of hundreds of local nonprofits and to help them raise funds online. The Clearwater Free Clinic is proud to be a part of this event and to be able to make such a difference in our community every single day.

Join us on May 2nd, 2017 and help support the Clearwater Free Clinic and many hundreds of other area nonprofits through this online fundraising event! More details to come!

 

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Put Your Best Fork Forward!

2017-02-27 20.47.19March is National Nutrition Month® and the Clearwater Free Clinic is kicking off this year with our volunteer nutritionist, Linda Alegarbes. Linda provides nutritional counseling to uninsured patients here at the Clinic and she sure is appreciated by staff and patients!

The food that we put into our bodies matters. We all have the choice to fuel our bodies with good, healthful foods or not to. The truth is, creating healthy habits can prevent disease and help us to live happier and longer lives.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has dubbed 2017’s National Nutrition Month® campaign “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” Making just small shifts in our food choices can add up over time. It can even be fun to experiment with healthy ingredients in home cooking and find new ways to stay physically active. Of course, it can also be helpful to consult an RDN, like Linda Alegarbes, to provide sound, personal nutrition advice that fits your lifestyle.

 

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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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