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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Alabama Free Clinic Meets the Needs of the Uninsured

The Community Foundation of South Alabama continues to serve as a conduit of funding for nonprofits in the eight county footprint served by this foundation. An excellent example of this principal at work is that of the Alabama Free Clinic, which received a grant of $70,670, made possible by the Fund for Gulf Communities, a Program of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

The grant has allowed the Alabama Free Clinic to open a medical clinic in Gulf Shores, Alabama to support South Baldwin County. The clinic provides medical care at no-charge to uninsured residents in the seafood and tourism industries. The new clinic opened on October 24th of 2011. Other locations for Alabama Free Clinic include Bay Minette and Robertsdale, Alabama.

Community Foundation staff members recently made a site-visit to the Clinic located in the Robertsdale community. We are pleased to report that Alabama Free Clinic runs a very organized and impressive operation. We were given a brief report of the organization’s accomplishments and activities during 2011 and early 2012.  Foundation staff members toured the facility and were walked through the process by which patients and doctors are brought together for appointments.

It all begins at the Alabama Free Clinic website or via their phone which is staffed by a nurse. Through the phone or web portal potential client’s symptoms are noted and matched to the doctor best suited to treat them. The patient is given an appointment date and the doctor is notified when his patient will be in the clinic and what symptoms they are presenting—a very tidy system indeed.

The Clinic has added personnel and infrastructure to keep up with the increase in demand for services since the recession and BP oil spill that adversely impacted the economic fortunes of Baldwin County. Appointments in the year 2011 exceed 1,500 and clinic staff arranged to distribute $673,600 in lifesaving name-brand prescriptions at no charge to their clients.
 
The Clinic staff is largely unpaid volunteers who selflessly work towards the betterment of healthcare in Baldwin County among its uninsured citizens. We applaud Alabama Free Clinic for their dedication to the citizens of Baldwin County.

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