Dear Fellow MSV Member,
I have been privileged to be part of several professional and volunteer organizations during my 40+ year career as a physician, but none has been as important to me as my involvement with the Medical Society of Virginia Board of Directors and the Free Clinic of Pulaski County.
I chose to offer my volunteer services as Medical Director/physician at the Free Clinic of Pulaski because of the demonstrable need in our community (many residents are uninsured) and they lack quality health care. The free clinic offers medical and pharmaceutical services to adults living at 0-200% of the Federal Poverty Level (or approximately $42,000 for a family of five). Volunteering at the free clinic allows me to do what I went to medical school for – helping people, most of whom live with multiple chronic diseases with no other means for health care. Each patient I treat is grateful for the help they receive.
I encourage you to consider volunteering a few hours a month at a local free or charitable clinic. You will gain valuable insight into the needs of your community and you will be providing a needed service.
John W. Knarr, MD
About Free and Charitable Clinics in Virginia
- The Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Inc. represents 60 clinics.
- Free or charitable clinics are 'safety-net' health care providers offering quality care to economically disadvantaged individuals.
- All clinics are nonprofit agencies; patients are provided treatment regardless of their ability to pay for services.
- Services are provided to uninsured or underinsured adults, 0-200% of the Federal Poverty Level/FPL (or $36,375 for a family of 4 living at 150% FPL).
- Clinics provide an array of services: medical, dental, pharmaceutical and/behavioral health care
- 72,000 patients were treated at free & charitable clinics in 2014; more than 742,000 prescriptions were provided to those patients.
- The total value of ALL services provided by clinics was almost $172M in 2014.
- None of the above would be possible without the generous contribution of time and talent provided by more than 7,000 volunteer health care professionals; including 3,800 physicians and physician assistants.
Benefits of Volunteering at a Clinic
- Helping to improve the health of individual patients AND the community
- Medical malpractice insurance is provided by the clinics at no cost to the volunteer physician or physician assistant
- No bureaucracy; practice medicine without barriers often imposed by external audiences
- Flexible schedules, grateful patients & staff
- Networking with peers; continue a connection after retirement
- Developing new skills
- Mentoring medical students (most clinics serve as educational sites)
- Meals provided for volunteers at many of our clinics courtesy of local restaurants
- It’s fun!
Volunteer Physician / Physician Assistant Form
Please join 3,800 of your colleagues by volunteering at a free or charitable clinic. Submit your information below. You will receive a response from VAFCC staff within five business days of submitting your interest form. You will also receive an email detailing volunteer contact information for the clinic indicated, as well as information on next steps. If you have questions, please contact Linda Wilkinson at (804 340-3434) or firstname.lastname@example.org.