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Patrick Neustatter's op-ed column on the challenges being faced by the Moss Free Clinic.
Medical professionals assist patients during evening hours at the Moss Free Clinic.
MIKE MORONES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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So here I am again, on behalf of the Moss Clinic trying to get the message out through the good offices of The Free Lance-Star, to persuade more primary care volunteers to come and join us--family physicians, internists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Health care providers in primary care tend to be busy, and often are already seeing quite a lot of indigent patients who don't pay.
I hate to play on people's guilt, good nature, and sense of community, but to quote Karen Dulaney, the clinic administrator: "Throughout the Moss Free Clinic's history--representing nearly two decades of continual growth in services and patients served--one truth has remained constant: The need for essential health services for the uninsured in the Fredericksburg area remains urgent."
So, Fredericksburg-area providers, may I urge you to give it a try? Or just to come and take a look, and see what you think?
Although you are already in a caring profession, you would be doing something extremely worthwhile. And it's a little easier than regular practice at the Moss Clinic, which makes most providers enjoy the experience.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHO: Primary care providers (FP, IM, hospitalist, ER), physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners.
WHERE: Moss Free Clinic on the Mary Washington Hospital campus, 1301 Sam Perry Boulevard.
WHEN: Tuesday or Thursday evenings, starting between 6 and 7 p.m., for approximately two hours. Work as often as you want, but at least once per quarter.
WHAT: See non-acute primary care patients for new-onset or chronic conditions, just as in your office/practice.
SUPPORT: Full staff on-site to triage patients and pick up discharge orders. Multiple specialists available for referrals.
ANCILLARY: On-site pharmacy for medications; access to lab and X-ray with results sent to the Moss Clinic, not you.
BENEFITS: You are covered by the Good Samaritan Act, providing you with civil immunity and liability protection for malpractice.
You would be doing something very worthwhile for your community.
Dr. Patrick Neustatter is medical director at the Moss Free Clinic.