The Greene County Care Clinic, the free clinic in the county, faced a tough dilemma early this year: close after Medicaid expansion or expand to include a larger group who need quality medical services. The clinic chose the latter.
“The state went through Medicaid expansion in January, so for our clinic that meant that a lot of current patients would qualify for Medicaid,” said Pam Morris, executive director. “Our number of patients declined. So, the clinic chose to do what a lot of free clinics across the state chose to do—change the eligibility requirements.”
The clinic, which is situated in downtown Stanardsville, now sees individuals and families who earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level.
“There are probably a lot of people in the county who qualify and don’t realize they do,” Morris said. “We’re kind of on a mission right now to reach all those people and to make them feel welcome to our clinic.”
What does 300% of the poverty level mean?
An individual who makes between $17,237 and $37,470 is now eligible for care at the clinic. The numbers rise as the family size does.
Morris, who began in September, is no stranger to Greene. While she grew up outside of the county, she remembers Sunday dinners with family off Bacon Hollow Road in Dyke and an annual family reunion, which has gathered for more than 100 years.
“I love it,” she said.
To qualify to use the clinic, individuals must be residents of Greene and cannot qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. Services include: treatment of acute health conditions, such as the flu; chronic illness care, such as blood pressure monitoring; diabetes education; lab and diagnostic testing; pharmacy services; health education; care coordination; and referrals to appropriate specialty care.
The clinic plans to have a fall open house from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 at its site off Stanard Street. Morris said people can expect fall treats, but also doctors and nurses who can give tours of the clinic and answer questions about what the clinic is all about, as well as volunteers and board members.
The durable supply closet is still there, but Morris said it could use more supplies so if anyone has crutches or wheelchairs or walkers they aren’t using the clinic will take them to lend out to its patients.
Additionally, the public can help the clinic by donating money, volunteering or by getting the word out.
“If someone in their day-to-day lives comes across someone who doesn’t have insurance tell them about the clinic,” she said. “Talk to your family members, neighbors, people you go to church with … word of mouth is the best way to get information like this out.”
The clinic needs volunteer nurses and doctors, but also those interested in helping fundraise and other tasks.
The clinic is an Amazon Smile approved charity so people can donate while purchasing what they need for themselves, she said.
“It makes a difference,” she said. “As a nonprofit we’re very grateful for the support that we do get from the community. No donation is too small.”
Morris said the clinic will be posting wish list items on Wednesdays on its Facebook page as a way to get needed supplies through donations.
The clinic was founded in 2005. It is open for patients on Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The clinic is at 39 Stanard St., Stanardsville. Visit www.greenecareclinic.org for more information or call (434) 985-7000.