Salem Free Clinics (SFC) was started in January 2005 as an outreach by West Salem Foursquare Church (WSFC). As WSFC met with people living in the Edgewater district of West Salem asking what they could do to help…the number one answer was the need for access to healthcare. With the need for medical help in mind, Dr. Marion Reynolds and Todd Gould (Outreach Pastor) made their first housecall. Walker Middle School (located in West Salem) offered the use of their gym for the first 5 years of SFC’s existence meeting every 1st and 3rd Saturday afternoon.
As Salem Alliance Church (SAC) began praying about what God’s plan was for their new building located on Broadway NE, they surveyed the Grant/Highland neighborhoods in their community and again healthcare needs rose to the top again. At the same time SFC was praying for a permanent place to call home. Because we serve a great God who knows all things, He led to a partnership between SFC and SAC. On October 3, 2009 SFC moved into a temporary location in Salem awaiting a final move to it’s new permanent facility. During our stay at our interim location we expanded from 2 clinics a month to 10 clinics a month.
On the second Saturday in November, 2009, SFC also expanded to include a satellite clinic at Trinity Covenant Church in South Salem. In December 2014, because the patient need in South Salem changed with the beginning of the Affordable Care Act, this satellite clinic closed. In August, 2011 SFC also expanded in to Polk County with the start up of the Polk Community Free Clinic located in Dallas, OR. In August, 2012 they expanded their clinic offering the 1st and 4th Saturday mornings a month for patient care.
On September 4, 2010 we moved into our permanent main clinic facility. We continue to trust God to show us how to grow and expand our services. In our main facility we currently offer (in addition to our safety net care) mental health/dental services and some specialty clinics that are available to our patients via referral from our providers. We also continue to partner with Corban University to provide counseling services in our satellite location on Portland Road in Salem. God is continuing to bless us in amazing ways and we look forward to His leading for SFC’s future.
With the start of the Affordable Care Act in January 2014 we were thrilled to see how God has continued to provide patients for SFC. In this year, we were able to significantly reduce the waiting time for patients to be seen in the clinic and were able to see all patients that contact us that have no health insurance. In addition we did not have a drop in patient volume seeing about the same number of patients in 2014 as 2013. That is a significant answer to prayer since about 50% of our previous patients qualified for and obtained OHP as their insurance provider during 2014.
Here are some facts that might be of interest as Salem Free Clinics finished 2013.
- We finished our office expansion that now includes 4 new work areas for staff and volunteers.
- We kicked off our first annual Run for Hope and Health in September as a fund raiser. We hope to continue this into the future and have a 2014 date planned.
- We added a second Friday dental clinic in April 2013 which was on our dream list for 2013.
- We had our first KP (Kaiser Permanente) Night Out in November. This is a partnership with doctors and nurses from Kaiser and our staff for a clinic.
- We finished our first year using our electronic health record, scanning all of our paper documents into the system and finally shredding our paper charts.
- Our volunteers supported our clinic in 2013 during actual patient clinics and office work behind the scenes of a clinic for a total of 30,592 hours (14.71 FTE). This is an in kind donation of $901,924.74 to Salem Free Clinics.
- An average of 30 providers (medical/dental/mental health and counseling) volunteered each month in 2013 to provide services for our community
- Some patient statistics of interest from 2013:
- In medical/dental/mental health and counseling services 6,014 appointments were filled and were patients seen.
- We held 496 clinics in 2013.