The new AmeriCares Free Clinic of Stamford launched amid fanfare in January with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at AmeriCares headquarters. The clinic is open three days a week, making scheduled stops at Neighbors Link on Selleck Street, New Covenant House of Hospitality soup kitchen on Fairfield Avenue and Domus on Lockwood Avenue.
The clinic offers the same services as our other three locations including primary care and pre-employment physicals. More than 30 volunteers are supporting the program, which provided nearly 600 patient visits in the first five months of operation.
Patients come seeking treatment for hypertension, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems as well as for the aches and pains that are common among the working poor with physical jobs requiring heavy lifting. Others feel fine but want a medical professional to confirm there are no health problems to cause concern.
“Some patients haven’t seen a physician in more than decade,” said Stamford Clinic Director Muguette Maignan. “We begin treatment immediately if indicated, but sometimes they just need that peace of mind that everything is OK because medical care has been out of reach for so long.”
The mobile unit is the first free clinic in the city where nearly one out of every five residents is uninsured and the local hospital has one of the highest rates of uncompensated care in the state.
It is expected to provide 1,200 patient visits and about $900,000 in free health care services in its first year.