The challenge: To provide additional support to Free Clinic patients by assisting them in completing their UVA Health financial assistance applications and setting up specialist appointments.

Thanks to a grant, we’ve developed a solution!

To secure funding for our patient support effort, we applied for and were granted a 2020-2021 Community Assistance Grant (CAG) from the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation (NPCF). The CAG program was developed to provide financial assistance to nonprofits that address on-going emergent needs or emergency services for the community. Here at the clinic, the grant is supporting a coordinator position works closely with medical staff and patients on referrals for specialized medical services, community programs, and financial assistance.

We are fortunate that a clinic volunteer familiar with the needs of the position decided to apply for the coordinator position. For more than a year, Marilyn Dunphy has been using her Spanish language skills to volunteer at the clinic as a translator. This new position overlapped with some of the duties she was already assisting with at the clinic.

“My role is to assist clinic patients with navigating any follow up needed after a clinic appointment. That follow up might include setting up and confirming appointments for additional procedures, which could be routine, like a colonoscopy, or specialized, as with eye care or renal health,” said Marilyn. She also helps patients decipher the financial aid application process and secures transportation when needed for patients to get to specialist appointments. Thus far more than 20 individuals have been assisted in getting to medical testing or specialist appointments.

To enable this service to continue after the grant is completed, Marilyn will be training clinic volunteers in the patient support processes she is setting up.

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