Proper healthcare is hard to find while living on a low budget. Without the ability to access insurance through their jobs, many low-income individuals are left to pay for doctor, dentist, or eye appointments completely out of pocket. Cost for both the appointment and treatment needed after visiting a doctor can become a burden for many families. 3:16 Family Medicine is eager to combat this challenge by providing a free community health clinic for Carroll County residents.
“We have been offering a free community health clinic every quarter since we opened our doors in September of 2017,” said Family Physician and Owner of 3:16 Family Medicine and Spa 3:16, Allison Key.
The mission of the clinic is to provide a payment free option for members of the community who need to access a doctor. The goal is to eliminate the barrier of money or cost and allow for the Carroll County community access to free healthcare.
“Our mission is to love others and serve our community,” said Key. “We want to meet people right where they are. Everyone deserves access to health care and as primary care providers, we believe in the power of prevention and early diagnosis. Our goal is to offer just another opportunity for people without insurance or access to care to not only be seen and treated for free by one of our providers, but to get information about resources in our community to help long term.
“The visit is free as well as any necessary lab work,” continued Key. “We do offer minor procedures and in house testing for free as well as medications from our small in-house dispensary. We have several patients who come each quarter for follow up, and it is always free.”
Alongside opening their services to the Carroll County community, 3:16 Family Medicine also tries their best to reach out to the homeless community in the area. Working alongside Be the Light Medical Missions, Key saids they provide needed services for homeless individuals such as transportation to and from the clinic.
“We do reach out and try to make sure that all centers, churches and other places of access for the homeless know that we offer these services, and we hope to continue to expand on those as well,” said Key. “We have a non-profit arm called Be the Light Medical Missions.”
“One of our primary goals there is to offer a medical transport van so that people who need to see a doctor or make it to an appointment but do not have transportation can get a ride for free,” continued Key. “We want all people to have access to the care they need.”
Even with the transportation services provided, there are still certain challenges that 3:16 Family Medicine is hoping to overcome. One of these main challenges is getting back in touch with their patients once they have attended the clinic, especially individuals who attend the clinic without having a primary residence.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is follow up after the visit or even getting to and from the visit for some of our patients,” said Key. “Sometimes we have difficulty getting back in touch with a patient about their results because their living situation or contact information may be transient. Most people do not realize the large homeless population we have in our community and the degree of poverty that many in our backdoors are living in daily.”
Although there are still improvements to be made regarding the service. Key says she is very grateful to see how much it has been used for the betterment of the community. Key is especially grateful for her staff that take time out of their day to help provide the clinic.
“We offer these clinics in the evening hours, so I am very grateful to my staff and our providers for volunteering their time to work these extra-long days serving others,” said Key. “It is sometimes hard to arrange childcare or take care of our own situations, but these ladies go the extra mile to help others every day and for that, I am so grateful. Their hearts are just gold. “We hope that these events offer hope and help to those who need it,” continued Key. “It is our blessing to be able to use our time and talents to reach out to our community and serve. Hopefully, it is making our community a healthier and happier place.”