A long-time pharmacy volunteer at the Arlington Free Clinic has donated a quarter million dollars to the nonprofit medical center.
The $250,000 gift came from a retired Arlington special education teacher who prefers anonymity.
The clinic’s benefactor grew up in Pennsylvania coal country with immigrant parents. Her mother died of diabetes when she was nine; her father continued raising her until he died of an untreated dental infection that spread to his brain when she was 18.
She came to the clinic one day and sat down with Arlington Free Clinic staff and asked what could be done with better funding.
“We started talking about dental, and her eyes lit up and the lights came on,” recounted Nancy White, the clinic’s executive director. White says that the volunteer wanted to support her father’s legacy with a gift that would prevent others from suffering how he did and to prevent children from losing their parents to preventable health problems.
The gift inspired the Arlington Free Clinic to set a $1 million fundraising goal to develop an in-house oral health program that would benefit low income adults without health insurance.
Currently, the clinic uses one dental chair at Arlington’s Department of Human Services to perform dental procedures. With the funding, the clinic hopes to rearrange their space at 2921 11th Street S., near Columbia Pike, so that three dental chairs could be installed where the pharmacy currently is, among other dental-related improvements.
The nonprofit has already raised $800,000 toward that goal, which they hope to achieve by November, and has planned upcoming events like a Bites & Blues fundraiser at Whitlow’s on Wilson on April 28.
This is not the first large donation received by the clinic. In 2011, the Arlington Free Clinic received a $677,500 gift to benefit mental health services.
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More on County Board Debate — At Tuesday night’s Arlington Civic Federation debate, the two independent candidates blasted the County Board for supposedly being too pro cozy with business interests. Charles McCullough “several times ripped the county government for extending millions of dollars in ‘payola and corporate welfare’ in an effort to win economic-development successes,” while Audrey Clement “portrayed Arlington leaders as sharing a matrimonial bed with the development community, rubber-stamping new projects to reap the tax revenue they generate.” [InsideNova]
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Arlington Free Clinic Women’s Health Program — Grants from the Susan G. Komen foundation are funding a women’s health program at the Arlington Free Clinic and in turn saving the lives of breast cancer patients who otherwise could not afford their healthcare costs. Among those who beat breast cancer with the clinic’s help is one of its employees, a mother of three who found a lump while attending a breast health event in 2003. [WJLA]
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Flickr pool photo by Vandiik
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North Arlington Road Closure — N. Sycamore Street is scheduled to be closed from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today between Little Falls Road and 27th Street due to water service installation work. [Arlington County]
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Real Estate Firm Raises $100,000 for Free Clinic — McLean-based Stewart Commercial Realty has helped to raise more than $100,000 for Arlington Free Clinic’s dental program. The program provides dental care to low-income, uninsured Arlington residents. The company held a fundraiser for the program in Courthouse last weekend. [Facebook]
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
As I wrote in a column a few months ago, it’s important every so often to take a step back and recognize organizations that provide vital services in our community. In that earlier column, I profiled AFAC—the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
Today, I’d like to highlight the Arlington Free Clinic.
AFC’s mission is to provide free, high-quality medical care to low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults. AFC relies on private donations and volunteer services. In the wake of passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the natural question arises: is there a continuing need for AFC and the services it provides?
The answer definitely is: yes.
AFC has spent a considerable amount of time evaluating the potential impacts of the ACA on AFC’s work. AFC has reached these important conclusions:
- many of AFC’s current patients now will be able to get health insurance due to passage of the ACA,
- but a significant number of AFC-qualified Arlington adults will remain uninsured, and
- the number of AFC-qualified Arlington adults will still exceed AFC’s resources to provide care for them.
In light of these conclusions, AFC has decided to:
- provide existing AFC patients information about the ACA, and connect them with assistance to help those eligible to get insurance,
- transition some patients from AFC to new health care providers, and
- provide care to more uninsured, low-income Arlingtonians whom AFC previously had not been able to serve.
More details about the impact of the ACA on AFC are here.
Those Arlington residents whom AFC will continue to serve will have access to a full range of medical services provided on-site within AFC’s primary care setting. Other services, including diagnostic procedures, are provided by AFC’s community partners. The care available through AFC includes:
- Primary care
- Specialty medical care in anesthesiology, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, ENT, gastroenterology, hematology, nephrology, oncology, ophthalmology, optometry, orthopedics, pathology, podiatry, psychiatry, pulmonology, radiology, rheumatology, surgery and urology
- Women’s health including annual screening for cervical cancer and access to free mammography for women aged 40 and above
- Mental health
- Physical therapy
- Pharmacy services
- Diagnostic testing
- Patient education programs in breast health, diabetes care, nutrition, asthma care, osteoporosis, and oral health
- Patient support groups
There are a variety of ways in which you can learn more information about AFC.
Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
Free Clinic Still Needed Post-Obamacare — The Affordable Care Act may help reduce the number of people without health insurance, but it won’t alter the core mission of the Arlington Free Clinic. The clinic will continue to serve the thousands who are expected to remain without health insurance in Arlington even after the health care law is implemented. [Sun Gazette]
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Lava Barre Moving to Rosslyn — Fitness studio Lava Barre is moving from Clarendon to Rosslyn starting early next year. [Facebook]
Flickr photo by Ddimick
Krupicka Uses Marine in Mailer — State Senate candidate Rob Krupicka has gotten the attention of a conservative web site for printing an endorsement from a Marine sergeant, along with a photo of him in uniform, on a campaign mailer. If the Marine is on active duty, such an endorsement would violate military guidelines. The Sun Gazette’s Scott McCaffrey also points out that Krupicka’s mailer also makes reference to supporting “soldiers and their families” — which would refer to members of the Army but not the Marine Corps. Krupicka, an Alexandria city councilman, is facing off against Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey and Del. Adam Ebbin in the Democratic primary. [Sun Gazette]
Medical Care By Lottery — Every month, the Arlington Free Clinic holds a lottery to see who will receive medical care. With demand for care exceeding supply, this month only 25 people were selected out of a pool of 140. [WAMU]
Ballston Farmers Market Starts This Week — The Ballston Farmers Market will hold its season grand opening this Thursday. The market is free and held every Thursday (until October) from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Wellburn Square, between N. Stuart and N. 9th Streets.
The McLean-based Campbell Hoffman Foundation has given the Free Clinic $677,500 for “continued integration of mental health services within primary care.” AFC says it will also use the funds for “primary and specialty care… and pharmacy services.”
“The funding will support and sustain our essential medical services in Arlington County,” said David Lee, MD, chair of AFC’s board. “We are truly grateful for the Foundation’s trust in our capacity to serve the community and for the opportunity to carry forward its important legacy of primary care.”