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Rhode Island Free Clinic Endowment
By Jean Cohoon / February 12, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

“We want to make sure we’re around for our patients for generations to come,” states Marie Ghazal, CEO of the Rhode Island Free Clinic, when describing the decision to collaborate with the Rhode Island Foundation for an endowment fund.

Founded in 1999 to provide free comprehensive medical care and preventive services to adults who have no health insurance and cannot afford the services, the Clinic now provides care to more than 2,000 patients each year. With more than 200 volunteer doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and administrative professionals, the clinic mobilizes community resources to provide primary care, health education, and more than 27 types of medical specialties to those who need it most. It also provides an efficient and cost effective alternative to emergency rooms for uninsured residents seeking comprehensive health care. As an Area Health Education Center site, the clinic partners with higher education institutions to serve as an educational training site for many future healthcare professionals.

The Clinic is funded though individual and corporate donors, grants, special events, and community partnerships. “Donors and partners are really responsible for the excellent care we provide in our community. Without them, the Clinic could not do nearly as much,” says Marie. “100% of our operating budget each year comes from charitable donations, and our patients never pay a cent for healthcare.”

Marie explains that this endowment is one example of how an individual can support the Clinic, its volunteers, and the patients it serves. Gifts to the endowment will grow and fund the Clinic’s mission for many future generations, helping to carry out its belief that health care should be available to all, regardless of income.

“The need for quality healthcare in our community is ever present,” says Marie. “No matter what happens in the healthcare landscape, the Clinic will be here to catch those who fall through the cracks. The future of the Rhode Island Free Clinic will be to continue to provide quality care and meet the challenges ahead. We have to do it because if we do not, people will not have care. Everyone deserves equal access to healthcare.”

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