The Rhode Island Free Clinic’s mission is to provide free, comprehensive medical care and preventive health services to adults who have no health insurance and cannot afford those services, and to serve as an educational training site for aspiring health care professionals. Serving as a “medical home” for those who have no other options, the Clinic provides essential health services through a dynamic statewide network of volunteer medical providers working with academic, medical, and community partners, leveraging robust health care resources with a vitality that is unmatched in RI, and remarkable in the nation.
Click here for a brief video about the Clinic and our services: http://youtu.be/9j8mP-IL93s
Community partnerships, collaboration and volunteerism are central to the Rhode Island Free Clinic’s mission. Established in 1999 by Rhode Island’s First Lady Stephanie Chafee, R.N., the Clinic was honored as one of the nation’s top 25 volunteer “models with promise,” in Shirley Sagawa’s The American Way to Change: How National Service and Volunteers are Transforming America (2010).
The Clinic provides nearly 8,000 patient visits through its active corps of nearly 700 volunteers, a lean professional staff of 9, and 7 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers. With an annual budget of $1 million, the Clinic leverages over $3.4 million in additional donated health services and medical supplies to provide vital medical care to Rhode Island’s uninsured, working poor, and low-income adults.
Unlike walk-in clinics or urgent care settings, the Clinic provides a broad range of coordinated health services. Clinic patients have a patient-centered medical home at the Clinic, and receive Primary Care, Specialty Care, Labs & Diagnostic Tests, Pharmacy, Wellness Programs, and Health Education. Through this extensive range of services patients’ health is stabilized and improved, and they are empowered through increased health literacy, follow-up appointments, and referrals to self-manage chronic conditions and better maintain their own health and well-being.
In 2008 the Clinic launched a strategic expansion to address the state’s urgent and growing health care crisis for uninsured, low-income adults. To date:
- Patient Visits increased 400% to nearly 8,000 in 2013.
- Physicians Network grew nearly 200% to include primary care physicians and specialists who provide patients with care in their offices throughout RI.
- Active Volunteers increased 200% to nearly 700.
- Clinic Hours Expanded 300% to 45 hours/week in 2013.
By coordinating volunteer doctors and medical professionals and leveraging vital community resources, Rhode Island Free Clinic is able to provide a medical home for nearly 2,000 Rhode Island residents who would otherwise have none and be forced to rely on costly ER visits to address preventable health crises.
The Clinic is also a strategic link to education and training in the health care field. The Clinic collaborates with leading academic and training partners to ensure that students in the health care field gain real-world experience and training at the Clinic that leads to graduation, certification, and licensure.
Services and training are provided at the Clinic in Providence at its state-of the-art, 5,000 square foot facility located on Broad Street. Care is also provided through its statewide Physicians Network, where patients are seen in offices of volunteer doctors throughout Rhode Island.