Providing Medical Services to Those in Need

SC Phil and The Free Medical Clinic Partner for April 28 Masterworks
by Caryn Little, Development Director, The Free Medical Clinic

The Free Medical Clinic has partnered with the South Carolina Philharmonic’s Music for a Cause program in April, which provides non-profit organizations an opportunity to reach a broader community and raise awareness. It is a given that music can make us feel better. Perhaps you use it as a distraction during stressful or painful situations. Or use it to hype you up during a run or workout. Neurologically, music touches all the brain’s centers. It also has the power to heal.

The Free Medical Clinic has been a place of healing since 1984. Founded by the Rev. Bill Bouknight of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, the Clinic serves vulnerable adults in our community who are at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Level and lack health coverage (private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or VA benefits). We provide primary care, specialty care, and medications at no charge to our patients. These are folks you see in our community daily. They could be the young mom handing your change at the drive thru or the friendly older man bagging your groceries. There are those you may not necessarily see – the housekeeper at a local hotel or the dishwasher at your favorite restaurant. Then there are those you may know well – people who have cared for your children or mowed your lawn. The majority of our patients work hard to make a living and provide for their families – most thought they would never need to seek help from the Clinic.

In 2017, we served 1,858 patients through 4,550 on-site primary care and specialty care visits. Our on-site pharmacy dispensed 45,201 prescriptions, which holds a retail value of over $4.2 million. This is possible thanks to the 90 physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and pharmacists that donated 2,136 hours of service last year. We are the Midlands only clinic that maintains full-time hours, an on-site pharmacy, and offers a broad scope of primary care, specialty care, pharmaceutical, educational and outreach services. The Clinic’s caring and compassionate staff includes two part-time nurse practitioners, a registered nurse, a pharmacist, two pharmacy techs, a referral coordinator, and administrative staff.

Like other non-profits, we couldn’t provide the services and care that we do without community support. The Clinic is supported by the United Way of the Midlands, corporations, churches, foundations and individuals. We also host our annual signature event, Doctors Lounge, every November. This night is truly one of a kind and features our docs that rock… local physicians who are also musicians. Mark Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7 pm on your calendar to join us for Doctors Lounge 2018 at Music Farm Columbia.

When you support The Free Medical Clinic – whether it is through monetary or in-kind support or through volunteering – you are supporting our neighbors who need a helping hand with the gift of health and healing. Please visit www.freemedclinic.org for more information on the Clinic and the services we offer our community.

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