DALLAS, Feb. 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A one-day, free health clinic will be held Saturday, April 9, in Dallas to provide much-needed care to people with limited or no access to health care. The clinic will be sponsored by the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) in conjunction with the Texas Association of Charitable Clinics (TXACC). It will highlight the need for increased access to medical care in Texas, where the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not been implemented fully.
"Access to affordable health care is still a major issue for many people in this country, especially in states like Texas that have not expanded Medicaid under provisions of the ACA," NAFC Chief Executive Officer Nicole Lamoureux said. "Many people might be surprised to learn that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, as many as 29 million Americans still lack access to health insurance even though major provisions of the ACA took effect more than two years ago. As our nation debates the future of the ACA and health care in general, Free and Charitable Clinics remain an important part of the safety net and continue to provide affordable care to those who need it most."
The April 9 clinic will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas with patient appointment hours from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
"Twenty percent of Texans remain without health care insurance, making Texas the number one state for uninsured Americans, according to the Texas Medical Association," Jody Hopkins, executive director of the TXACC, said.
Larry Robins, president and chief executive officer of PediPlace in Dallas and Lewisville and chairman of the NAFC Board of Directors, said, "More than 4 million Texas residents lack health care insurance, so charitable clinics provide health care to many of them with little or no state or federal support. Charitable clinics are often an overlooked part of the safety net, and we look forward not only to providing health care to those who need it but also to shining a light on those clinics that provide care daily in Texas and throughout the country."
The Dallas C.A.R.E. Clinic is being held during the month of April, which is also National Minority Health Month. The theme for 2016 is "Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation," with the goal of raising awareness of the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities and accelerating health equity, according to the HHS Office of Minority Health. "Addressing health equity is an important issue for our organization and our clinics across the country who are providing much needed care to a wide variety of ethnicities," says Lamoureux. "The Dallas C.A.R.E. Clinic event will provide culturally compassionate and competent health care while addressing the needs of all racial and ethnic minorities, from having translators on the appointment scheduling phone line and at the clinic event, to providing specific and important information and resources to participants."
This will be the 16th in a series of large C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinics that the NAFC has held around the country to bring together physicians and other health care professionals, as well as non-medical volunteers, to serve the needs of thousands of people who might otherwise go without medical care. Since September 2009, when the first C.A.R.E. Clinic was held in Houston, more than 17,500 uninsured people have received high-quality, free medical care. This will be the second one held in Dallas. Others have been held in New Orleans, Little Rock, Kansas City, Hartford, Atlanta, Charlotte, Tacoma, Washington (D.C.) and Madison (Wis.).
Both medical and non-medical volunteers are needed to participate in the Dallas C.A.R.E. Clinic. Information on the event and how to register is available online at: www.2016DallasCARE.com. The C.A.R.E. Clinics are paid for through sponsorships and individual donations. The NAFC is encouraging donations to help make this and future C.A.R.E. Clinics possible; donations can be made at www.nafcclinics.org.
About the NAFC:
The NAFC is the only nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the medically underserved throughout the nation and the more than 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics that serve them. Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is working to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care and strives to be a national voice promoting quality health care for all. The organization believes that access to health care should be a right, not a privilege, and it values volunteerism, community ownership, service and collaboration.
About the TXACC:
The Texas Association of Charitable Clinics (TXACC) is a statewide nonprofit that supports the work of Charitable Clinics in Texas. By providing resources, education, training and advocacy, TXACC services are a critical part of assuring the availability of high quality healthcare services for the uninsured in Texas. Visit www.txcharitableclinics.org to learn more.