Can’t Afford Health Care? The Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic is Here For You
Inflation has been one of the biggest topics of the year, and it’s easy to see why. Things that were usually cheap amenities like milk and eggs now fluctuate in price.
If it’s becoming more difficult to purchase simple everyday products, imagine how expensive it is to afford health insurance.
Well, here’s the good news, if you are qualified as low income and live in Southern Utah, there may be another option for you.
The Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic on 1036 East Riverside Drive has been assisting those who can’t afford health insurance with free health care and checkups of various categories, and inflation won’t change that anytime soon.
Executive Director Deanne Staheli wants every low-income resident to know that the clinic is here for you.
Staheli said, “The doctor’s volunteer clinic began as a community effort and continues to be successful because of the volunteer spirit here in our area. It’s because of this that the clinic can continue to offer these services to the uninsured and those most in need.”
The clinic covers various categories falling under the three main wings of medical, mental health, and dental. 49 providers are currently volunteering to provide the best care possible for those who most need it.
The categories include the following:
- Allergy and Asthma
- Dental Care
- Family Medicine
- Hypertension and Kidney
- Internal Medicine
- Mental Health
- Women’s Health
According to materials provided by the clinic, the facility provides similar care to what you would find at Insta-Care, but there are a couple of caveats.
The Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic doesn’t prescribe narcotics, treat chronic pain management, provide immunizations, or treat life-threatening emergency care.
The clinic is run mostly by volunteers, but there are a couple of paid positions that are there to assist you.
Anisa Cox happens to have one of those paid positions as clinical coordinator. I guess I should say HAD one of those paid positions, considering it was her last day on the job before she moved to Salt Lake City, but I digress.
Cox said “Less than ten full-time employees. We have our mental health therapists on our payroll as well as one of our psychiatrists. We have a director, our office manager, two medical assistants, our mental health coordinator and that’s it.”
Not a whole lot of positions on that list, huh? If you’re worried they’re under staffed, then don’t be. When I visited the clinic, I was blown away by the multitude of volunteers working around the clock to assist anyone who walked through the front doors.
As I mentioned before, 49 providers assist with the clinic’s day to day treatments, but what exactly is a provider?
Cox said, “Providers covers all of our doctors. We refer to providers as anyone who we have. Physician’s assistants, doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, those are all the people that we refer to as providers. Anyone who’s providing mental health, dental, or medical care, we consider a provider.”
That doesn’t even cover all of the volunteers. Because on top of the providers, dozens of patient techs are also available to check in patients, gather vitals, and create charts for the doctors.
Most of these patient techs are medical students looking to gather as much experience as they can. Meaning, they’re passionate and gung-ho about providing the best care they can.
So, if hardly anybody gets paid, then where does the equipment come from? How do they have a building?
Donations and grants. That’s it.
The equipment, the building, and the time have all been donated by folks who believe there is value in the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic of St. George.
Despite all of this passion on display, Cox told me not a lot of people even know they exist.
Cox said, “What shocks me is that there are so many people within our community that don't even know that we’re here; That don’t even know that we’re a resource for them to tap into. So many times, I’ve overheard patient conversations where it’s someone who they’re just new in the area, they’re transitioning to a new job, they don’t have insurance yet, and they’re grateful to find us because they’re insurance hasn’t kicked in yet.”
Cox proceeded to tell me about homeless members of the community who were able to receive care, and in some cases, were able to diagnose rather serious conditions as a result of it.
Cox said, “We recently had a gentleman who came in and they ended up doing a biopsy and discovered that this gentleman has skin cancer. So, they were able to provide him with that care that he otherwise would not have been able to seek out a physician because he’s uninsured or he is particularly low income and doesn’t have health care.”
If you’re interested in the services offered by the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic, or would like to donate to the clinic, please check out their website for more information.
Remember that it isn’t the end of the world if you can’t afford health insurance, because chances are that establishments like this clinic may be able to help you when the going gets tough.