REDMOND, OR -- Central Oregon’s only no-cost health clinic is set to shut down next month, unless it can raise $12,000 by Tuesday. City Care Clinic has provided medical services to uninsured in Central Oregonians for more than a decade, in a small space inside Redmond's City Center Church.
Clinic Director Tamie Brown tells KBND News, "We need to close if we can’t get that amount that would just be something that would carry us for an entire year. And, during that time, we could set something better up." She says they’ve managed to get by for the past year despite losing their primary fundraiser. She and her small staff worked for six months to secure funding from past donors and philanthropic organizations, but she says the money just isn’t there and the clinic's board decided it was no longer sustainable.
According to Brown, the closure will be hardest on patients. "They will go to the ER for every little detail, because they don’t have any other answer. They don’t have the money to go in for a regular appointment with a regular doctor." She adds, "The people that we help the most are the people that make just a few dollars too much to get on OHP and then they just don’t make enough that they can afford to pay an insurance premium. And then, we also help several homeless people that, you know, won’t go in and get on OHP, even though they do qualify. They don’t have the ability to do that." She says those who have the means to get to Bend will transfer to the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic.
The City Care Clinic will see patients for three hours on March 7 and 20, before closing permanently. "We’ll take care of them as best as we can through the end of March, and then we’ll be no more." Brown says, "It’s going to be a very sad day. It’s really hard on me; I’ve done this for 11 years and I love it with all my heart, love every minute I’m in there. I’ve already cried a lot of tears over it."