Executive Director, Laura Moeller, attended the fourth annual summit hosted by the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC), October 22-27 representing the Community Clinic of Door County (CCDC).
The Summit was a three-day event that focused on the clinical, logistical, financial and ethical aspects of operating a free clinic. This year there were well over 300 attendees from over 28 states.
Individual break-out sessions presented information within one of the following three tracks:
- financial and fiduciary aspects of running a free clinic;
- clinical services aspects of free clinics, and
- human resources issues involved in operating a free clinic.
In total, there were 50 break-out sessions that covered a broad ranges of topics such as: Financial Management of a Free Clinic; Using Volunteers to Grow Your Clinic; Chronic Illness Management; and Programming for Prevention and Treatment of Obesity in the Uninsured and Underinsured, to name just a few.
The keynote session this year focused on Implications of Health Care Reform and was presented by Health Care Futurist, Joe Flower. The main thrust of the keynote address was to stimulate new thinking about ways in which free clinics will need to be more efficient and creative in their daily operations to meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of uninsured people seeking medical help from free clinics across the nation.
Flower has studied the waxing and waning trends in national health care for over 30 years and stressed to his audience, that now more than ever, there is a growing gap and increasing need for health care services that lay outside the traditional avenues of HMOs and health insurance plans. Flower left the audience with several helpful tips about how to do things better, faster, and more cost effectively, to help meet the needs of the growing uninsured in this country.
Throughout the three-day event there was robust discussion on the role free clinics play in today’s health care system and moreover, the important position free clinics will continue to play until some comprehensive, system-wide reform is readily available. Keynote speaker Joe Flower speculated that “regardless of national health care reform, there will still be people who will slip through the cracks and who, for one reason or another, will not be eligible for standardized health care.”
The NAFC is the only nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the more than 1,200 free clinics and the people they serve in the United States. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAFC is an effective advocate for the issues and concerns of free clinics, their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, technicians and other health care professionals, and the patients served by free clinics in communities throughout the nation.
CCDC is a proud member of NAFC and is also a member of the regional association of Free Clinics of the Great Lakes Region. For more information about the annual summit put on by the NAFC or information about the Community Clinic of Door County, contact Laura Moeller at email@example.com or 920,746,8989.