The Free Clinic of Southwest Washington recently received a $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo. The grant will help cover costs associated with the diabetes care program.
It has been estimated that 30 patients each month are discharged from local hospitals and/or emergency rooms who have no insurance and no primary care doctor. Those with uncontrolled diabetes are at high risk of experiencing a number of complications including vision problems or blindness, amputation, diabetic neuropathy, heart attacks and stroke.
Statistics show that low-income individuals (the population served by the Free Clinic) are more likely to suffer from uncontrolled diabetes due to lack of access to health care.
One in six of these low-income individuals with diabetes delay or avoid medical care because of the cost — a barrier that the Free Clinic aims to reduce through its diabetes program.
According to Kimberly Wolfe, medical clinics and project access supervisor, clinic staff members work hard to help patients through the program and teach them healthy living habits.
“It’s rewarding to see a patient’s face light up when they see results of positive changes in their diabetic journey,” she said. “They work hard to learn new habits that are difficult to accept sometimes. Our volunteer diabetes educators become a partner and cheerleader for the patient and we all celebrate successes with them.”
The Free Clinic provides free health care to children and adults who are otherwise unable to obtain such services. It offers medical, dental, vision and specialty care services that are provided by more than 600 volunteer professionals.
For more information, visit: www.freeclinics.org.