Health screenings at Starting Points Center
As part of the week long events for Cover The Uninsured Week, The Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic volunteers checked blood pressures and blood sugars on the people who visited the Soup Kitchen at Starting Points on Tuesday, April 24. Volunteers working the soup kitchen also had their blood pressure and blood glucose checked.
Irene Overholtz had her blood pressure and blood glucose checked, and stated: "We sometimes serve as many as 80 meals in an evening. I really enjoy it here. We come the last Tuesday of each month from Greenwood Methodist Church. I help serve the food."
The Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic is a primary care, non-urgent medical clinic. Services are provided to uninsured persons in Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan Counties, whose income is at or below the federal poverty guidelines. A confidential eligibility screening is performed to determine eligibility, and a tax return and verification of income are required. All patient visits are by appointment only.
The clinic utilizes a core paid staff, consisting of the director, two part-time nurse practitioners, a pharmacy technician, receptionist and two part-time patient resource specialists. Governing and operational support are provided by volunteers including the Board of Directors, physicians, nurses, counselors, eligibility screeners, applications processors, and all roles of administrative and clerical assistance.
During 2006, The Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic provided 5,284 free visits (primary health care visits, medication visits, nursing visits, specialty visits, screening visits, counseling visits, and psychiatry visits); dispensed 17,965 free prescriptions, worth an estimated $1,347,794; provided donated X-rays and lab work through Jefferson Memorial Hospital worth an estimated $234,668; provided donated eye and dental visits worth $7,901 and made 309 free referrals to 28 specialist. All of these services were provided to the uninsured, low-income and homeless individuals of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
The clinic is a training site for NURSING - The Blue Ridge Community Technical College, Shepherd University, James Madison University, James Rumsey Technical College, Shenandoah University, and Mountain State University PHARMACY – Shenandoah University and West Virginia University; SOCIAL WORK – Shepherd University MEDICAL STUDENTS – West Virginia University. The clinic is currently working with West Virginia University to become a training site for residents. As a training site, the clinic provides a valuable service to all health professional areas. The experience is very inspiring for the students who are in awe of the excellent services provided free.
The clinic has logged in over 4,500 volunteer hours during 2006. Volunteers have worked in pharmacy, nursing, medication applications, Board of Directors, Medical Policy, Fundraising, Nominations Committee, eligibility screening, receptions, clerical, accounting, marketing, data entry, and medical providers.
For more information about becoming a patient or a volunteer with The Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic, call 304-724-6091.