Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
July 24, 2012
DALLAS -- The Polk Community Free Clinic will be adding a day each month beginning in August.
The clinic, which offers free care to the uninsured, opened a year ago in Dallas' Trinity Lutheran Church.
In its first year, it was open the fourth Saturday each month for three hours and served 157 individuals in 224 visits.
"We've had a very successful first year," said Gail Saxowsky, the temporary clinic coordinator.
About 75 volunteers -- from doctors and nurses to hospitality staff -- work with the clinic, enough for coordinators to believe adding another day is possible.
"We have the staffing at this point to (increase) the clinics to twice per month," Saxowsky said.
Beginning Aug. 4, the clinic will see patients on the first Saturday of the month, in addition to the fourth Saturday. The next clinic day is July 28.
The clinic is a satellite location of the Salem Free Clinics, which operates three clinics in Salem offering similar services to the uninsured.
Saxowsky said the goal from the beginning was to increase the number of days the Dallas clinic was open.
"We had hoped to be able to do that, but we weren't sure when we would have the staff to be able to," Saxowsky said.
Saxowsky noted that people have had to be turned away occasionally, something the staff is hoping the second day will alleviate.
"There were some weeks when we had 12 to 15 people that we've had to turn away," she said.
Saxowsky said it is mostly due to that strong community support that the clinic will be able to serve more people.
She said the clinic has received grants and financial support from the Dallas Community Foundation and Salem Health. Salem Free Clinics has also provided administrative services and filled staffing needs when necessary.
Volunteers have been invaluable, Saxowsky added.
"We've been moving along quite nicely," she said. "We really have people dedicated to providing this service to these people."
What: Polk Community Free Clinic.
When: 9 a.m. to noon on the first and fourth Saturday of each month. The next three clinic days are this Saturday, Aug. 4 and Aug. 25.
Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 320 SE Fir Villa Road, Dallas.
Of note: The clinic offers free medical and mental health care to uninsured and underinsured. More volunteers are always welcomed.
For more information: 503-990-8772.