Launched in 2011, this humanitarian program helps new and existing free clinics to care for the uninsured in areas of need across the United States by providing grants for the purchase of tangible items, such as exam tables, EHR systems, and medical equipment. Family Medicine Cares USA also gives AAFP members, residents, and students the opportunity to volunteer their time and talents.
There are over 30 million uninsured people in the United States. Existing free clinics have seen a dramatic increase patient demand with the majority of these patients coming from working households. The need far exceeds existing capacity. There is and will continue to be an underserved population of people, both adults and children, who simply fall through the cracks of the healthcare system.
The AAFP Foundation does not directly start and maintain free clinics, but collaborates with a non-profit organization, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC), and its Volunteers in Medicine Program which has a tested model for developing and supporting sustainable, locally supported free clinics. Since the mid-1990s, the Volunteers in Medicine clinic development program has assisted more than 90 communities in the clinic development process. In 2021, the program officially moved to the NAFC. The AAFP Foundation works with the organization to identify strong potential clinic advocates, and NAFC provides expertise and guidance throughout the clinic development process.
As of 2023, Family Medicine Cares USA has awarded over $2M to 121 clinics in 37 states and one U.S. Territory. To view the locations of grant award recipients, please refer to the map.
If you would like to be part of this rewarding work in the U.S., but do not feel like you can commit the time to volunteer, please consider making a donation. Please know that through your donation you are making a difference by helping those in need.