Thank you Congregation Beth El!
We had a busy year at MWFMP, providing care to 1,872 patient visits. In fact, at our Tuesday night clinic at Congregation Beth El site, our volunteers provided care to 1,500 patient visits through our 33 evening clinic sessions. That is an increase of 50% in demand for patient care compared to 2016. Now in our 13th year of service to the community, we’ve served over 16,000 patients!
We think that the dramatic increase in demand last year is a result two primary factors:
- MWFMP’s successful efforts for outreach through the immigrant community to assure that people are aware of our services, and
- The lack of access to other sources of care because the Community Health Centers are over-capacity and the eligibility for Mass Health changed last year.
While the founders of the MWFMP envisioned that legislative changes would eventually make these free clinic services unnecessary, we now know that program has become vital to our community, assuring that the most vulnerable of our neighbors have access to high quality care.
Some highlights of our work in 2017 specifically at the Tuesday evening walk-in clinic at Beth El:
- Volunteers provided care for 1500 patient visits for 1,026 individuals who came through our doors
- 64% of patients are new to our program, while 36% are returning
- About ten percent of our patients came 3 or more times in 2017
Patients come primarily from Framingham, Marlborough. Most are Brazilian (75%) and Latino (11%). The vast majority are adults 18-64, with the average patient age 41 years old. About 12% of our patients in 2017 were children.
One of our biggest challenges for 2018 is that the MetroWest Medical Center (Framingham Hospital) changed leadership and has severed the decade-long partnership through which MWFMP was able to access some free lab and diagnostic testing for our uninsured patients. We are working diligently to create new partnerships to assure other sources for these services. In addition, we’re increasing some of the testing that we are doing onsite to assure that patients have access to the care they need
If you are interested in getting involved, please let us know! Our biggest needs for volunteers are currently for Nurses, and then for more help with our Set-up & Breakdown crews that manage our equipment and medical supplies. Those Set-up & Breakdown roles can be for ongoing volunteers or you can just come once to help out and see how the clinic operates. We may have additional needs in the coming months and will share those volunteer needs as they change.
Finally, we appreciate the donations of Children’s Books for our waiting room! We’ll be collecting books through the end of January, so please drop additional books in the basket near the office. Those will be put to good use for our pediatric patients and children who are waiting for care.
We appreciate the partnership between Congregation Beth El and MetroWest Free Medical Program to support the community!