STAMFORD, Conn. -- AmeriCares opened its fourth free clinic in Connecticut for the uninsured with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, Jan. 9, at the organization’s headquarters.
Gov. Dannel Malloy, Stamford Mayor David Martin and officials from Stamford Hospital and Quest Diagnostics helped cut the ribbon on the mobile clinic to the cheers of clinic volunteers and supporters. The AmeriCares Free Clinic of Stamford is the first free clinic in the city where nearly one out of every five residents is uninsured and the local hospital has one of the highest rates of uncompensated care in the state.
The mobile clinic – a 40-foot bus with two exam rooms – makes scheduled stops three days a week providing primary care services to low-income Stamford and Darien residents without health insurance. The mobile unit stops at Neighbors Link on Selleck Street, New Covenant House of Hospitality soup kitchen on Fairfield Avenue and Domus on Lockwoood Avenue.
The program is expected to provide 1,200 patient visits and about $900,000 in free health-care services in its first year.
“We are proud to offer quality health care that will keep the uninsured healthy and prevent costly, avoidable hospitalizations,” said AmeriCares Free Clinics Executive Director Karen Gottlieb. “It is really a community effort – volunteers, donors and community partners coming together to care for our neighbors in need.”
Patients of the AmeriCares Free Clinic of Stamford receive comprehensive health care including medications, lab work and diagnostic testing all at no cost. Stamford Hospital provides free diagnostic services including X-rays, CT scans and MRIs; Quest Diagnostics provides free laboratory testing for patients. Private funding from individuals, corporations and foundations is expected to cover 100 percent of operating expenses.
To date, AmeriCares has raised $2 million toward its $2.5 million, five-year fund-raising goal for the Stamford clinic. Three-quarters of the funding comes from five major donors: OdysseyRe Foundation, Building and Land Technology, Purdue Pharma and two private individuals.
With continued financial support, AmeriCares plans to open a permanent clinic location in 2015.
The Stamford clinic is the nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization’s fourth clinic in Connecticut. There are also AmeriCares Free Clinics in Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury, serving nearly 3,000 uninsured patients annually. Since 1994, AmeriCares has helped 22,000 patients receive more than $50 million in free health-care services.