Building a Healthy America, One Patient at a Time.
To ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care.
To be a national voice promoting quality health care for all.
ORGANIZATION VALUES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES
- WE BELIEVE access to health care should be a right, not a privilege.
- WE VALUE human dignity and ACCESS to quality, compassionate health care.
- WE VALUE the individuality of our member clinics and their ability to adapt to community needs and resources.
- WE VALUE volunteerism.
- WE VALUE community ownership, service and collaboration.
More About the NAFC
Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) was founded in 2001 by a group of grassroots medical providers and organizers who recognized that health care was not being provided at a local level to the working poor, uninsured and underinsured in our country in a way that was cost effective, accessible and affordable.
Many people do not realize that there are approximately 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics throughout the nation who since the 1960’s have been filling in the gap for those who “fall through the cracks” in our current health care system. These clinics receive little to no state or federal funding, do not receive HRSA 330 funds and are not Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers.
Free and Charitable Clinics are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. Such clinics are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, or operate as a program component or affiliate of a 501(c)(3) organization. Entities that otherwise meet the above definition, but charge a nominal/sliding fee to patients, may still be considered Free or Charitable Clinics provided essential services are delivered regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Free or charitable clinics restrict eligibility for their services to individuals who are uninsured, underinsured and/or have limited or no access to primary, specialty or prescription health care.
The mission of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care. However, it is our larger vision of being a national voice promoting quality health care for all that motivates donors, volunteers, and communities around the country to join our cause, as we work together to build a healthy America, one patient at a time. Within our Association, we value volunteerism, generosity, collaboration and human dignity.
NAFC current activities and programs
- Direct Patient Care through the Communities Are Responding Everyday (C.A.R.E.) Clinics: In 2009, the NAFC partnered with Dr. Oz to hold a large scale one-day health clinic in Houston, Texas where 1,800 individuals received physicals, medication, lab work, health education and connection to follow up care. Since then, the NAFC has held 15 clinics, in 9 states (New Orleans LA (4 times), Little Rock AR, Kansas City MO (twice), Hartford CT, Atlanta GA, Washington DC, Charlotte NC, Tacoma WA and Dallas TX) during which over 15,000 volunteers have provided care to over 17,500 uninsured patients. In 2016, the NAFC will hold two C.A.R.E. Clinics – one in New Orleans, LA and the other Dallas, TX.
- Health Education and Training: One of the largest challenges for medical providers in the Free and Charitable Clinic arena is the lack of health education and training that is specific to our patient population and health care delivery models. Therefore, the NAFC develops live in-person and web-based educational programs for medical and non medical volunteers and staff. Since 2005, the NAFC has held national in-person training events where over 3,500 safety net health care providers and volunteers have received the most current information, protocols and best practices pertinent to the patients who often present in a clinic setting with multiple unmanaged chronic diseases. Starting in 2014, the NAFC piloted a program at the in-person trainings where 75 medical professionals received over 700 Continuing Medical Education (CME) units for receiving training in the following areas: chronic disease management, medication adherence, health literacy, culturally competent health care, health equality and accessibility and affordability of health care. Given the success of this program, the NAFC plans to continue providing such credits through future live in-person training events. In addition to the live trainings, since 2012 the NAFC has organized 96 web-based and audio trainings that have been utilized by 3,840 individuals.
- Strategic Partnership Building: As the national voice for our clinics and patients, the NAFC plays an important role in sharing information about the continued need for health care equality, accessibility, affordability and portability for the medically underserved in our country. Through educational campaigns and events, the NAFC has has worked with policymakers in government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, presented at the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), and presented at for profit pharmaceutical events to to promote best practices and research on health and health access issues. All of these non-partisan and public/private partnerships allow for the NAFC to shine a bright light on the continued need for health care access in a post-Affordable Care Act America.
- Cost-effective and efficient medication and supply programs: Given that Free and Charitable Clinics receive little to no state or federal funding, and are not eligible for government funded discounted medication and products or group purchasing programs through the 340b program, the NAFC develops partnerships with non-profit and for profit organizations that provide both donated and discounted medications and supplies. These partnerships allow clinics to focus their attention on direct patient care, by significantly reducing their costs – which is critical to ensuring that clinics can provide the highest quality care. The NAFC has been able to leverage relationships and partnerships with AstraZeneca, Bionime, Independence Medical, Henry Schein Medical, Direct Relief, AmeriCares and Heart to Heart to offer free and discounted items and services to our members. In 2016 the NAFC will increase the products offered by increasing our partnerships with CVS, Becton Dickinson, Office Max and Staples.