Health Care

Free clinics fill a gap in local health care

Photo essay: Meeting patients where they are

Stethoscopes hang in the hallway at His Hands Free Clinic on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The clinic depends largely on volunteers and donations in order to provide the free services it offers to the community. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Stethoscopes hang in the hallway at His Hands Free Clinic on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The clinic depends largely on volunteers and donations in order to provide the free services it offers to the community. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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The Affordable Care Act extended health care coverage to about 200,000 Iowans, but gaps still persist. The cost of pharmaceutical drugs is soaring, insurance premiums are going up while deductibles keep getting higher.

There are real people falling through those cracks — people who can’t afford their insulin to manage their diabetes or their co-pays to go to the dentist; people who earn too much to be on Medicaid but struggle to pay their bills and let their health fall by the wayside.

So places such as Community Health Free Clinic and His Hands Free Clinic in Cedar Rapids work relentlessly to patch up those holes. They bring in volunteer physicians and dentists, get medications donated and build community partnerships. They help sign up people for insurance and navigate a complex health care system.

But most important, they meet patients where they are and provide emotional support during difficult times.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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