When you’re sick and have no insurance, it’s easy to fall through the cracks in health care. Fortunately, one local organization is standing by with a safety net held with Compassion And Respect for Everyone.
Open since 2005, Fayette Care Clinic in Fayetteville provides free health care for uninsured, lower-income residents 18 and older. With help from volunteer healthcare providers and partner agencies including Piedmont Fayette and Northside hospitals, the clinic provides a wide range of services—primary medical, chiropractic, podiatry, cardiology, physical therapy, dental, vision, mental health, mammography, lab testing, and imaging.
“Hypertension and diabetes are probably two of the biggest problems we see,” clinic executive director Geneva Weaver said. For Weaver, who had served on the clinic’s board for three years, becoming director last year was a natural transition. “I have a love for the clinic,” she said, describing the staff as a ‘good group of caring, loving people.’ “I know what they do and how hard they work.”
While children in low-income families can get PeachCare for Kids, low-income adults have a harder time getting medical care. Fayette Care Clinic patients are vetted using federal guidelines that place them below the poverty level and patients must verify their income with tax or wage documents.
Although patient stories are as unique as the patients themselves, Weaver said clinic patients are often down on their luck or too sick to maintain a job. Others can’t work because they’re primary caregivers.
For many, even if they have a job, the co-pays needed for insurance provided through The Affordable Care Act are out of reach and often it’s difficult to find local doctors who accept the insurance, Weaver said.
The clinic is a benefit to the community as well as its patients. Treating those who are sick often prevents the spread of illness and since those without insurance usually wind up in the emergency room creating long waits, the clinic, Weaver said, frees up emergency room time. There were about 2,000 patient visits to Fayette Care Clinic last year.
“They are so grateful,” Weaver said of the patients, adding that the clinic also educates patients on diet and exercise and other ways to improve their health. Weaver remembers a former patient who was so thankful for the clinic’s help when he was down on his luck that when he got back on his feet, he hosted an extravagant fundraiser for several years to show his appreciation.
As a 501C3 organization, the clinic’s funds come from grants and private donations, which are tax deductible. After several moves, one of the clinic’s greatest needs is a permanent location.
Upcoming fundraisers include KAPLOWEY Palooza, a combination of capture the flag and paintball, on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Kiwanis Park in Fayetteville, and the Mahaffey Linkous Orthodontics Open Wide Open Golf Tournament on October 6, at Braelinn Golf Club in Peachtree City. "Working with Mike Mahaffey on our golf tournament fundraiser has been a dream! He and his team plan the event and all proceeds go to the clinic. They are some of the most generous and caring people in our community. We are so blessed."
“We help a lot of people,” Weaver said. “Nothing is too severe. We don't take an ambulance at our back door—that has to go to the hospital. But if you can walk through that front door, we can treat you. If we can't, then we refer you to someone who can. As a patient, you would feel valued and have hope for the next day, all for free. It’s such a blessing.”
For more information about Fayette Care Clinic, to donate, or for tickets to upcoming fundraising events, visit www.fayettecareclinic.com.
“As a patient, you would feel valued and have hope for the next day, all for free. It’s such a blessing.”