Health clinic is free, but service is priceless

 

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The entrance to the health clinic at Clairmont Hall. Photo Even Tichenor

By Evan Tichenor

Photo Editor

Did you know Clackamas Community College is home to a free health clinic?

Inside Clairmont Hall, on the Clackamas Community College campus,the Clackamas Free Clinic is devoted to helping people who have no health insurance or are underinsured. 

If a patient is insured but can’t get an appointment with their current physician and needs medical services, the clinic recommends calling them first to check eligibility. 

The clinic offers a variety of services from primary care to optometry, diabetes management and much more – at no cost to the patient.

“It’s like five-on-one health care,” said Auburn Marie, Executive Director at Clackamas Free Clinic. “The doctors will spend like an hour or two with each patient because they’re not doing some of the things like, worrying about filing and doing all those extra things. They’re not trying to see 50 patients in a short amount of time, they’re just seeing a few.” 

Being a free clinic, the clinic is partially staffed by community volunteers and fully funded by community and foundation donors through two yearly fundraisers: for example, there is a luncheon planned for April, and a “Fund Run” at CCC in September.

The Clackamas Free Clinic is also a viable tool for students who are looking to get a degree in the medical field that requires time in a clinic. 

Now partnered with a medical assisting program, students can get hands-on clinic training and work directly under a doctor as a volunteer scribe. This allows hands-on, real-world training as early as their first school term.

There are plans to expand this program to include other health sciences programs like phlebotomy and nursing.

“Since 2015 [the clinic] had 32 of our volunteers accepted to med school. So we’re like a nice little stepping stone for folks to get medical experience before they head off to the next step of their education,” said Alexi Duynslanger, Development Director at Clackamas Free Clinic.

Volunteer shifts are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is also a Thursday shift twice a month from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The clinic is currently closed to patients on Mondays. 

To schedule an appointment, call (503) 722-4400 or email info@clackamasvim.org.

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Evan Tichenor

Evan Tichenor is a writer and photographer. He is on track to transfer to U of O for an economics and finance degree.

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