For the past three years, Americares has run a free health clinic in Stamford, Connecticut, using a 40-foot converted school bus. On Wednesday, the nonprofit opened up a brick and mortar version of that clinic. Last year, the mobile clinic served 850 patients. The new permanent clinic is equipped to serve a lot more.
The Stamford clinic will provide primary care and orthopedic services, as well as ophthalmology services for patients with diabetes.
Nicole Lamoureux, CEO of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, says free clinics have always been critical for underserved communities and will have an important role if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
“We really are the net that is underneath the safety net. And we’re catching people that may have care in some ways, but may not be able to afford their medicine. So what we’re seeing across –and what we're gearing up for – nationwide is how can we continue to serve the patient population that we have now, but how can we prepare to serve the patient population of the future.”
The Stamford clinic will be Americares’ fourth facility in Fairfield County. They also have free clinics in Bridgeport, Danbury and Norwalk.