The North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
The North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts advocacy, research, public relations, resource development, training and technical assistance on behalf of its member Free and Charitable Clinics and the people they serve.
It was the spring of 1996 when a handful of clinic leaders gathered at the Comfort Suites in Lexington. The clinics, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Don Lucey, had been gathering since 1991 for an annual conference, but there was a need for more. The small group of clinic leaders proposed that a formal association of clinics be established. For months a task force met regularly to establish what would become the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics today. Then it was known as the North Carolina Indigent Care Association. Dr. Lucey became the first board chair, Sandy Motley, vice-chair. Glen Pierce, then director of the ABCCM medical clinic became the Acting Executive Director. Other leaders were Jerri White of High Point, Sister Jean of the CARE clinic Fayetteville, and John Mills then pharmacy director at Crisis Control in Winston-Salem. As the number of clinics grew, so did the needs for the Association. The first paid Executive Director, John Mills, was hired in 2000 and the name was changed to North Carolina Association of Free Clinics.
January, 2004 marked a turning point for the Association when it and its member clinics embarked upon a partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. The partnership provided sustainable funding for clinics and expanded access to health care for the uninsured by helping communities create and establish free clinics in underserved areas. In 2008 the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation expanded its partnership with the Association with a second 5-year commitment focusing on measuring the impact clinics have on the patients they treat.
In 2015 the name was changed to the NC Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. Thanks to a dream of a few directors in 1996, the Association is now made up of over 70 member clinics throughout NC. They are part of a comprehensive network of free and charitable clinics that is providing care and improving the health and well-being of the uninsured in North Carolina.
- The total number of patients was over 73,500
- The total number of patient visits was over 165,000 (Medical + Behavioral + Dental)
- The total number of volunteers was over 7,800
- More than 900,000 prescription medications provided, at a total value of more than $136,200,000
- For every $1 spent, $7.20 in healthcare services were provided for a total value of over $234,000,000
- Hospital emergency department diversion savings was more than $90,000,000+