FernCare Free Clinic Now Open!
(Crystal A. Proxmire)
On Aug. 7, 2010 the FernCare free health clinic had a much anticipated ribbon-cutting, and served its first group of patients. The clinic is a community-wide effort started by Ferndale residents who wanted to find a concrete, local solution to the national problem of healthcare access for all. The group grew to include volunteers throughout the Detroit area, including the doctors, nurses and other volunteer staff who are now able to see patients. There were also dozens of people who volunteered to raise money and organize the clinic’s mission, policies, procedures etc. Local businesses like Credit Union One and AJs Music Café also did their part. Credit Union One helped secure the location, and AJs hosted several fundraisers, including the Assembly Line Concert. Congressman Sander Levin secured a grant to help with the building.
The clinic opened at its temporary location inside the Kulick Community Center at 1201 Livernois, and will begin by accepting patients by appointment only on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, from 9 am to 12 pm. They see non-emergency patients between the ages of 19 and 64 who do not have insurance. The phone number to set up an appointment is 248-677-2273. The clinic is already full for August, and near full for September.
There is a pharmacy on hand that carries basic medicine, but not narcotics. They also offer medical benefits counseling, mental health counseling and a chaplain is on hand if someone chooses spiritual counseling. Security keeps everyone, and the medication and equipment, safe.
They hope to expand hours and service as the clinic grows. Their permanent location 459 E. 9 Mile is expected to open by the end of the year.
FernCare is the 55th free clinic in Michigan, and is supported by donations and grants. Their website is www.ferncare.org.
To read a history of FernCare, see The Ferndale 115’s profile on the group at http://www.ferndale115.com/20100101ferncarefeat.html. And for other FernCare and Health news, check out our special section http://www.ferndale115.com/ferncare.html.