Thursday, September 13, 2012

Free Clinics

by Jill Hilton, Marketing Intern

Health Care has become a popular topic of conversation at local dinner parties, work, and even at the local bar.  It seems as if everyone has an opinion about our health care system and how it should operate. According to CNN 49.9 Million Americans were uninsured in 2010, we can only assume that this number has gone up. Health Care is an important asset; the problem is that many do not have access to health care or are unsure of the free options available or if there are even options available. Health Care is important to the young and the old, without proper treatment an individual could suffer long term effects. Low income families have a hard time deciding what is more important, food or their health. In order to live food is necessary and without good health a person can’t survive. Janet Runbeck of RotaCare said “people need to eat food but they think health care can wait”. This is the battle that they face daily.
In Washington State there are a couple different options available for low income families. The options vary from low to no cost. There are many free clinics all over Washington State, these clinics help with basic needs such as bandaging up wounds or helping with the common cold. In the city of Tacoma there are 3 different clinics: Neighborhood Clinic, RotaCare, and Trinity Free Clinics.  The Trinity and Neighborhood clinics both focus on basic health needs. RotaCare in Tacoma focuses on chronic diseases such as: hyper tension, cholesterol, and diabetes.  This program helps patients manage and get education about their chronic disease.

RotaCare is a fairly new program that opened its doors to the public in September of 2009.  The program is set up to help low incomes families with chronic diseases, the family or individual can be a part of the program for one year. While in the program volunteer doctors and nurses help to give patients the knowledge and supplies they need to help with their disease. This program is a great tool to our community.  

Knowledge is power and by learning about our free clinics it helps me to know what local resources but also see that there is still so much need in our community.