The Free Clinic of Meridian was named Citizen of the Year by the Meridian Civitan Club. Each year the Civitans recognize an organization or a person who has contributed to the community in ways that epitomize the Creed and Purposes of the Civitan Organization.
Board President, Brenda Hiatt, credits the volunteers with the success of the Clinic. “We are so honored to be recognized by the Civitan Club in this way. However, the credit for our success goes to the local physicians, nurse practitioners, medical residents, nurses, and front desk personnel who volunteer more than 5000 hours of time every year. With a staff of only two part time employees, the clinic could not exist without our volunteers.” The clinic is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors and Dr. Lee Valentine serves as the medical director.
The clinic is totally supported by private donations and grants. Rush Foundation Hospital and Anderson Regional Hospital support the clinic with goods and services. Grants are also very important to the clinic’s sustainability. “Grants from the Riley Foundation, the Earnest Workers Circle, the United Way, the Baird Trust, and the Paul and Sherry Broadhead Foundation allow us to provide primary care and medications for our patients,” said Hiatt. In 2017, the clinic received a grant from the CVS Foundation that has allowed the development of a healthy lifestyles program called “A Healthier YOU.” In addition, numerous churches, civic clubs, and individuals regularly contribute funds and supplies.
Those wishing to apply for services at The Free Clinic of Meridian must complete an application and provide a photo ID, Social Security number, and proof of income, such as pay stubs or current income tax returns for all members of the household. Criteria for receiving services at the clinic include being ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare, having no health insurance, and having an income no greater than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a household of their size.
Patients are seen by appointment only after review of their application. The focus of the clinic is on preventive care and regular maintenance of those who suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Both medical and non-medical volunteers are needed to continue to meet the needs of the uninsured in our community. Volunteer shifts are four hours once a week, once a month, or whenever a person is available. For non-medical volunteers basic computer skills are required.
The Free Clinic of Meridian is a member of the VIM Alliance. For more information, visit www.freeclinicofmeridian.com.