First Care Clinic will offer a variety of free health and dental services next week as part of the clinic’s 10-year anniversary. Next week also marks National Health Center week.
Special activities include free vision and hearing screenings from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday; free blood pressure checks from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday; free fluoride application for kids from 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 17.
There also will be an open house and free community lunch and door prizes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 18. All events will be at the clinic, 105 W. 13th.
“We encourage everyone to come down and see us,” said Rhiannon Maier, director of quality and data. “We really want to provide care to anyone that needs it, and now’s a great time to come in and check us out.”
The clinic first was established as a free, walk-in clinic for uninsured residents and was open only one night a week, staffed completely by volunteers under the supervision of Hays Medical Center. After receiving a start-up grant in 2007, the clinic became its own entity, acquired office space and started with four employees.
That number has increased 10 times, and the clinic now offers medical, dental and mental health services. The clinic last year also added a second location in Victoria.
First Care Clinic provides non-emergent care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. A sliding fee scale is available for patients who are uninsured or under-insured.
Next week’s events also will showcase recent accomplishments, such as renovations to the clinic’s second level and the Victoria clinic recently being certified as a Patient Centered Medical Home. The Hays clinic previously had received the federal designation.
“Recognition as patient-centered medical homes identifies the complete care that we provide to our patients,” CEO Bryan Brady said in a press release. “At First Care Clinic, we want to be the provider of choice, not just for acute care, but for chronic care management and preventative care as well.”
The clinic’s 40 staff members include two physicians, three mid-level health service providers, one dentist, three hygienists and a clinical social worker. First Care is wanting to recruit another dentist.
In June, Dr. Christine Fisher joined the clinic as medical director. Fisher previously was a cardiologist at HaysMed.
“Our providers offer excellent care to patients and are very dedicated to the community,” Fisher said in a statement. “We provide comprehensive care to patients of all ages and give special attention to prevention, education and overall well-being.”
Last year, the clinic saw approximately 5,400 patients with a total of 12,300 visits.