About Us

The mission of the AmeriCares Free Clinics is to provide quality health care to low-income, uninsured patients in a setting where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

AmeriCares founder Bob Macauley opened our first clinic in 1994 to expand access to care for the working poor. Over the years, our program has grown to become the largest free clinic network in the state with four locations serving 3,000 patients annually. Today, our clinics in Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford are a lifeline for low-income uninsured residents from across Fairfield County.

We care for patients with diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other chronic conditions, as well as provide treatment for minor injuries and sudden illnesses like the flu. Without our services, many would rely on emergency rooms for primary care services – or worse – delay care until they have a medical emergency. Over the years, 26,000 of our neighbors in need have received more than $65 million in free health care services.

Our Model

Supported by local philanthropy, our clinics are an example of a community coming together to help patients in need.

Our clinics are staffed by volunteer doctors, nurses, interpreters and administrative help, and draw on the resources of community hospitals, laboratories, specialists and pharmacies to ensure comprehensive outpatient care. Patients receive essential prescription medications at little or no charge through Patient Assistance Programs, donated medicines and our relationships with local pharmacies.

AmeriCares Free Clinics is a member of the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and licensed by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Karen Gottlieb

Karen Gottlieb

AmeriCares Free Clinics Executive Director
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Clinic Staff

Headquarters

Terri McCartney, Associate Director

Mary Balkun, Manager, Clinics Administration

Lorraine Larkin, Associate, Volunteer Services

Laura Galusha, Data Manager

Boehringer Ingelheim
AmeriCares Free Clinic of Danbury

Dina Valenti, Clinic Director

Judy Hottle, Assistant Director

Anne Darby, Nurse Practitioner

Mary Beth Fessler, Nurse Practitioner

John Weggeman, Administrative Assistant

Christine Regan, Administrative Assistant

Karen Johnstone, Administrative Assistant

Katherine Kinasewicz, Administrative Assistant

Sonia Kieras, Staff Nurse

Bob Macauley AmeriCares Free Clinic of Norwalk

Barbara McCabe, Clinic Director

Linda Russell, Assistant Director

Gail Banigan, Patient Care Coordinator

Weisman AmeriCares Free Clinic of Bridgeport

Cathy Sheehan, Clinic Director

Karina Rodriguez, Patient Care Coordinator

Diana Lindahl, Nurse Practitioner

AmeriCares Free Clinic of Stamford

Muguette Maignan, Clinic Director

Saleska Quesada, Patient Care Coordinator

Julie Hetherington, Nurse Practitioner

Charles Jones, Bus Driver

Board Members

Alma Jane (Leila) Macauley

Alma Jane (Leila) Macauley

Co-founder and Vice Chairman, AmeriCares Foundation

Mrs. Macauley is the Co-founder and Vice Chairman of AmeriCares. She is Executive Director of Friends of Children, a nonprofit foundation promoting the well-being of orphaned, abandoned, sick and injured children around the world, and a founding director of Covenant House in Florida and Good Counsel in New York and New Jersey. Mrs. Macauley received her M.A. from the University of Miami in Guidance and Counseling.

Michael J. Nyenhuis

Michael J. Nyenhuis

President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Nyenhuis joined AmeriCares in 2014 as its President and Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he leads a global organization with partners in 90 countries and an annual budget of approximately $500 million. He oversees offices in the U.S., India, Haiti, Japan, Sri Lanka, along with a network of free health clinics in AmeriCares home state of Connecticut and the AmeriCares Family Clinic in El Salvador. Previously, Nyenhuis was with global nonprofit MAP International since 1995, serving as its President and Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2014. A native of Minnesota, Nyenhuis holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay and a Master of Business Administration from Emory University.

Jerry Leamon

Jerry Leamon

Chairman of the Board, AmeriCares Foundation Former Managing Director, Deloitte

Mr. Leamon joined the AmeriCares board in 2005 and was elected Chairman in 2015. He retired from the Deloitte network in 2012 as Global Managing Director responsible for client and market-facing programs. Mr. Leamon held a variety of other leadership roles over the years including Managing Partner of the Deloitte U.S. tax practice. Mr. Leamon graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.B.A. in accounting.

Carol B. Bauer

Carol B. Bauer

Former Chairman, Norwalk Hospital Board of Trustees

Ms. Bauer joined the AmeriCares board in 2002. She currently serves as a chaplain at Norwalk Hospital, where she served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001. She previously taught physically and mentally handicapped children and has lectured in French history. Ms. Bauer has also served on the boards of The United Way, the American Heart Association, the Honey Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Connecticut and the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. Ms. Bauer received a B.A. from Harris Teachers College and attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Karen Gottlieb

Karen Gottlieb

Executive Director, AmeriCares Free Clinics

Karen joined AmeriCares in 1994 and started the organization’s first free clinic in Norwalk, Conn., to meet the growing health care needs of the state’s uninsured. She was named Executive Director of AmeriCares Free Clinics in 1996. Under her leadership, AmeriCares opened three additional clinics in the state. Over the years, the program has provided more than 23,000 patients with comprehensive care including medications, lab work and diagnostic testing.

Karen oversees and directs all activities of the AmeriCares Free Clinics including training, fundraising, program development and recruitment of staff and volunteers. She also develops the strategic vision and plan for overall growth and development.

An expert on the uninsured, Karen serves on the board of the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. She earned a nursing degree from Russell Sage College as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University.

C. Dean Maglaris

C. Dean Maglaris

CEO, Cytogel Pharma, LLC

Mr. Maglaris joined the AmeriCares board in 2004 and served as Chairman from 2011 to 2015 and Lead Director from 2007 to 2011. He is the CEO of Cytogel Pharma, LLC, a bio-pharmaceutical development company. He retired from Pfizer Inc. after 33 years where he held executive leadership positions in marketing and general management. These included Group Vice President, U. S. Pharmaceutical Marketing, Vice President Worldwide Marketing and Business Development - Medical Devices and Vice President and General Manager National Healthcare Operations Division. He has also worked as a health care consultant, advising companies on business development, strategic planning, marketing and management. Mr. Maglaris is a past trustee of the New Canaan Country School and past Chairman of the University of Vermont Board of Trustees. He has a B.S. from the University of Vermont and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.

Stephen Winter, M.D

Stephen Winter, M.D

Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Norwalk Hospital; Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University

Dr. Winter joined the AmeriCares board in 2003. He is Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Norwalk Hospital and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Winter has received numerous awards for his contributions to medicine and international relief work, including the American Thoracic Society’s 2010 Public Service Award and the 2009 American College of Chest Physicians’ D. Robert McCaffree, MD, Master FCCP Humanitarian Award. He earned a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, a M.S. in Systems Analysis and Synthesis from Stanford University and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from University of Illinois. He completed a residency in internal medicine at The New York Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering and a fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Financials

The AmeriCares Free Clinics were established in 1994 to serve the medical needs of the working poor. We are a 501 (c)(3) organization, separate but affiliated with AmeriCares Foundation.

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Our Logo

The three intertwined figures in our logo represent the community through which financial support and donated services are provided; our volunteers who selflessly give their time and expertise; and the patients we serve. The shading of the figures demonstrates our pledge to deliver culturally sensitive care to our diverse population. All the figures are joined by a heart representing the compassionate support exhibited at our clinics.
Free Clinics Logo

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Clinic Timeline

  • Our First Clinic

      November 1, 1994

    The first AmeriCares Free Clinic opens in the South Norwalk Community Center at 98 South Main St.

  • Funding Helps Open Danbury Free Clinic

      January 15, 1997

    The AmeriCares Free Clinic of Danbury opens in the basement of Ives Manor in downtown Danbury.

  • AmeriCares in Bridgeport

      May 3, 2003

    The AmeriCares mobile clinic begins making weekly stops at the Newfield branch of the Bridgeport Public Library.

  • Becoming a Fixture in Bridgeport

      September 25, 2007

    The AmeriCares Free Clinic of Bridgeport moves to a permanent location in the Wheeler Community Center and is renamed the Weisman AmeriCares Free Clinic of Bridgeport in honor of longtime supporter and AmeriCares board member Fred Weisman.

  • New Danbury Clinic Location

      May 28, 2009

    The Danbury clinic moves to a new location at 76 West Street and is renamed the Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares Free Clinic of Danbury.

  • Norwalk Clinic Renamed

      June 22, 2011

    The Norwalk clinic is renamed in honor of AmeriCares founder Bob Macauley who passed away the previous December .

  • Fourth Clinic Opens in Stamford

      January 7, 2014

    The AmeriCares Free Clinic of Stamford goes on the road making stops three days a week at local community centers.