At free clinics throughout the country, family physicians have devoted countless hours to coping with the ever-evolving demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to telemedicine. New requirements for PPE. Increased patient load. Decreased staffing. The list goes on and on.
In May, as these challenges became increasingly apparent, The Humana Foundation stepped up, awarding a $1 million grant to the AAFP Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The money was targeted to provide emergency and general assistance for free clinics supported by the Foundation’s signature humanitarian program, Family Medicine Cares USA.
The Foundation had already distributed $1,000 grants to 42 free clinics, a pandemic response enabled by support from the Eisai and Pfizer Foundations. With the generous $1 million grant from The Humana Foundation, we were able to provide additional rounds of larger grants. The funding targeted communities with high need and socioeconomic indicators known to contribute to health disparity.
Physicians and staff have responded with heartfelt appreciation for all the assistance.
“The emergency grant was really a lifesaver for us,” says Radhika Kakarala, MD, MS, at the Genesee County Free Medical Clinic in Flint, Mich. “Our main funding used to come from a 5K walk/run fundraiser, but with the pandemic that has taken a big hit because most people weren’t able to participate. In contrast, the number of patients we see at the clinic has exponentially increased because of people losing jobs or losing their insurance.”
“The funds and support will help us adapt and become sustainable,” says Sarah Gray, executive director of the Helping Hands Health & Wellness Center in Columbus, Ohio. “We’ll be investing in our hybrid telehealth model, and making sure our technology is maintained throughout the period that we’re doing this.”
Sitting in an exam room where clear shower curtains hang as a protective barrier, Gray says it’s hard to find words to express the clinic’s gratitude.
“Thank you is not enough, but it’s all I have,” she says. “Our small but mighty clinic appreciates this grant more than thank you will ever say.”
From all of us, a mighty “Thank You” to The Humana Foundation! Your generosity has helped patients around the country. Grant recipients include:
AdventHealth Community Medicine Clinic
Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine
Brooklyn Free Clinic
Camden Community Health Center
Campbell Univ Community Care Clinic
Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine - Founders Clinic
Clinica Del Sur
Clinica Mi Salud
Coachella Valley VIM
Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership
Community Volunteers in Medicine
Cornerstone Community Health, Inc Free Clinic
CrossOver Healthcare Ministry
Free Clinic of Meridian
Gennesaret Free Clinic, Inc
Good Neighbor Health Clinic
Grace Medical Home
Health 4 All
Hope Clinic of Garland, Inc.
Hope Medical Clinic
Houston Outreach Medicine, Educ, and Soc. Svc. (HOMES)
Just in Time
Lestonnac Free Clinic - Main Location (Orange)
MedZou Community Health Clinic
Mission Travis Mercy
Mollie R. Wheat Memorial
Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc.
Parker Family Health
Saint Peters Community Free Clinic
Salud Sin Fronteras Student Run Free Clinic
Shade Tree Clinic
Southeast Indiana Health Center
Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine
St. Vincent de Paul Medical & Dental Clinic
Still Caring Health Connection
Three Angels, Inc.
University of Arizona Mobile Health Program
VIM Dearborn Ohio Switzerland Counties
Volusia Volunteers in Medicine
Wheeling Health Right, Inc.
Health Resource Center
Guadalupe Clinic, Inc.
Gennesaret Free Clinics- Westminster Clinic
Genessee County Free Medical Clinic
Interprofessional Community Clinic at Rosalind Franklin University Health Clinic
Iowa City Free Medical Clinic
Helping Hands Health and Wellness Ctr
VIM Christian County
The Free Clinic of Meridian
Cura for the World - Oklahoma
Good Shepherd Ministries of Oklahoma
Volunteers in Medicine
Ozanam Inn Tulane Weekend Clinic
Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic
Rhode Island Free Clinic
Culture of Life Ministries
Portland Street Medicine
Good Samaritan Clinic
His Hands Free Clinic
Martin Luther King Health Center
Family Community Clinic, Inc.
Volunteers in Medicine Jacksonville
Indiana University Outreach Clinic
C-ASIST Free Family Health Clinic
Scotland Community Health Clinic
Sojourner Health Center