REDMOND, OR -- Central Oregon’s only no-cost health clinic is at risk of shutting down due to a shortage of donations. City Care Clinic Director Tamie Brown says the nonprofit lost its primary fundraiser organizer a year ago. "We are in dire need of funds to stay open past January one. It doesn’t take very much to run the clinic; we have all volunteer help, here, and our bills and everything altogether, it’s less than $15,000 a year. We do it on a shoestring and do very well helping our patients."
The City Care Clinic has served the uninsured for a decade. Brown tells KBND News the Affordable Care Act has reduced their number of patients, but many still can’t afford health insurance. "We still feel like even helping just 12 or 15 patients a month is really helping people. We’re only open for three-hour shifts, one day a week for each month, and that’s just four days a month, then. We used to have seven or eight doctors and we’ve cut it back down to two to three doctors, now."
She says without the clinic, those patients would be forced to seek routine care at the Emergency room. "That would be the only place they’d have to go, which costs the hospital a lot more money. The hospital really supports us by giving us free labs, and free X-rays and MRIs and ultrasounds and things like that, because, when people come in to our clinic instead, it saves them [the hospital] lots of money for the people that would come into the ER and never would pay."
The clinic leases space in a corner of City Center Church, near SW 8th and Forest, in Redmond. Brown says they will continue to accept patients until they are no longer able to afford to do so. Donations can be made through the church or through the City Care Clinic GoFundMe website.