The Year End Appeal for the Portland Community Free Clinic is underway! This is our most ambitious annual fundraiser for the Friends of the PCFC and this year is no exception. We have a goal to raise $70,000 by December 31, 2022–this is about 50% of the annual budget for the PCFC. Money raised from the Year End Appeal sustains us throughout the year.
In the US in 2021, roughly 30 million people did not have health insurance, which is about 13.5% of the population. While Maine mirrored national trends for many years, there was actually good news in 2021: the uninsured rate dropped from 8% in 2019 to 5.7% in 2021, which represented the largest percentage decline among all states in the nation. Even so, there are still over 77,000 people in Maine who do not have health insurance. These are the people served by the PCFC.
The PCFC is proud of its work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. At the height of the pandemic, we were closed for just 2 weeks, reopening to see patients on March 30, 2020. We have put careful screening protocols in place to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, and volunteers. We established telehealth visits which allows volunteers to see patients and provide counseling and care without being face-to-face in the same physical location–this has continued although we have been seeing more counseling patients on site during 2022. Our telehealth program was established literally overnight. It is the financial support of the Friends that allows us to be innovative and meet the needs of our community quickly without a lot of red tape.
The PCFC also took a lead in providing COVID vaccines to our patients as well as the larger community. From May 2021 through September 2022 we administered 334 COVID vaccines (primary series as well as boosters). We continue to administer to the bivalent booster to our patients.
We are also working hard to the provide care to new Mainers–refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers who have come to our state seeking refuge. This past summer, over 1200 people, primarily from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America arrived in Portland. Through creative use of limited resources, the PCFC is part of the safety net to provide healthcare for these vulnerable people.
Questions that are frequently asked:
- Who are the people without health insurance? Our friends and community members working in the food service industry, in hotels, as artists, small business owners, and taxi drivers. Many work in jobs where health insurance is not available or they don’t work enough hours to qualify. Approximately 80% of patients seen at the PCFC are employed.
- Where do they live? The majority of patients seen at the PCFC live in Cumberland and York Counties (98%).
- Where do they go for care? The Portland Community Free Clinic.
- Who provides the care? Over 100 volunteer doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, counselors, social workers and clerical staff.
- What is the annual budget? $144,000, which supports 1 full-time and 3 part-time paid staff members, plus a small amount for medical supplies.
- How many people does the PCFC serve? Approximately 700 patients per year are seen in more than 1600 visits.
The PCFC is small but mighty, guaranteeing a vital healthcare safety net for the greater Portland area by providing essential primary care.
Donations of any amount are welcome and gratefully appreciated. You may donate online with a credit card. The site is secure and your information is encrypted then destroyed–we never see your credit card number. Perhaps you will consider a monthly recurring donation to make your money go farther? Click here for that option.
The PCFC is sort of an old-fashioned place–anyone who has seen our “electronic medical record” knows what that means! So, if you are an old-fashioned person and would prefer to pay with a check, that’s fine too. Please make it payable to the Friends of the Portland Community Free Clinic and send to:
Friends of the Portland Community Free Clinic
443 Western Avenue, #1007
South Portland, ME 04106
Questions? Need more information? Contact us directly and we will be in touch.
Thank you in advance for your donation!