(Crystal A. Proxmire, 5/6/2011)
The review covers patient visits from when the clinic opened on Aug. 7, 2010 until December 19, 2010. During that time there were 11 clinic sessions, with three during the first month. Each session had between 33-38 patients per session, for a total of just under 400. The clinic serves patients with the fewest health care options – people aged 19 to 64 with no medical coverage.
Patients were asked to fill out voluntary surveys. 100% of the patients reported Fern Care to be “helpful” or “very helpful.” One patient wrote “Because I have no health insurance I am extremely appreciative of the services provided here. And I would also like to comment on how nice and professional everyone here is!”
Another said, “What a wonderful experience; everyone was helpful! Dr. easy to talk with and addressed all issue and I was very happy with my care.”
The data collected is similar to other clinics. Brian Wahl, who volunteers as a benefits counselor, said “none of it was a surprise. It’s no surprise that the top diseases are things like diabetes, kidney issues, cardiac issues, pulmonary. Those are the most common things we’d see at any clinic. The only thing that varied a little was that we had an almost equal distribution of males to females. Normally female patients outnumber males.” Wahl said there is no way to know for sure why there was a more equal amount, but speculates that in the poor economy there may simply be more men without jobs or access to insurance.
Below are some of the clinic’s stats, based on self-reporting by patients:
|CAUCASIAN||82||WORKING FULL TIME||22|
|AFRICAN AMERICAN||26||WORKING PART TIME||23|
|Number responses:||112||% Responding:||43%|
|GENDER||OVER 150% OF FPL||22|
|FEMALE||81||UNDER 150% OF FPL||52|
|Number responses:||151||Number responses:||75|
|% Responding:||100%||% Responding:||50%|
|AGE||CITY OF RESIDENCE
Top 5 listed below:
|19 – 30||19||Ferndale||40|
|30 – 40||11||Hazel Park||13|
|40 -50||30||Madison Hgts||11|
|50 – 64||56||Southfield||11|
|Number responses:||116||Royal Oak||10|
|And this, collected by the Clinic Team.|
|Top 5 medical conditions|
The data collected is required by agencies that provide grant funding for the Clinic. It also helps them stay on track with meeting the needs of the people they are serving.
Physician’s Assistant Suzanne York helps keep things moving at the clinic’s temporary location in the Kulick Community Center. She volunteers, she said, because of need. “All these people here really need health care, and if they don’t get it they’ll only get sicker. I’m hoping one day FernCare will be out of business and that everyone can have health insurance and the care they need.”
The clinic is expected to move to its brick and mortar location at 459 E. 9 Mile sometime later this spring. They cannot accept any new patients until more money is raised, however they continue to provide ongoing care for current patients.
Fern Care Treasurer Bob Babut, who recently received a Good Neighbor Award, works hard to make sure that funding and spending are tracked properly. “I take a lot of pride in knowing I’m helping keep us financially sound and make sure all the legalities are taken care of,” he said. “and I like knowing that what I do helps make other people better.”
As Robinett weaves up and down the crowded hallway, which serves as the clinic’s waiting room, volunteers like Rose Ann O’Connor of Warren and Lyle Ulinski of Pleasant Ridge man the registration desk. Chaplains like Ross Hulbert of Ferndale and Dorizella Fredrick of Detroit lend an open ear and provide spiritual and emotional support. There are volunteer security workers, pharmacists and of course a whole slew of medical professionals giving up their time to make this truly community-service driven, grass-roots free health clinic possible.
To find out more about Fern Care, go to www.ferncare.org. Donations to the clinic can be made through their website.
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