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Local News

Free Clinic Planned for Pensacola

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ramusa.org
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Volunteers are being sought to staff a two-day free medical clinic, sponsored by the Pensacola Remote Area Clinic on Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3, at Pensacola High School on Maxwell Street.

Organizer JoAnn VanFleteren at the Pensacola Remote Area Clinic says volunteers, both medical and non-medical, are needed. The event is divided into three core categories – dental, medical and vision.

“Dental – cleanings, extractions, and cavities,” VanFleteren says. “Medical – pap smears as well as annual checkups. And they will actually make glasses for people on the spot.”

Work is underway to raise the $25,000 needed to pay for the clinic, which VanFleteren says will also feature a number of screenings and other services.

“Walgreen’s has given us 2,000 flu shots for the clinic, and the Escambia County Health Department is doing the HIV and syphilis testing,” said VanFleteren. “Escambia Community Clinics will be there to help register people for a medical home.”

All patients have to do is show up and wait in line, and they’ll be seen. Registering for the clinic is relatively straightforward, and not as invasive as registration can be for other events and services.

“The only information that we actually will be collecting is their name, their address, and their phone number,” VanFleteren says.

The goal is to serve 2,000 patients with 600-plus volunteers, and achieve a community healthcare benefit of at least a $500,000.

At the end of the weekend, VanFleteren is also hoping that the true mission of the remote area clinic is fulfilled.

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Credit Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media
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JoAnn VanFleteren, Pensacola Remote Area Clinic

“Which is to alleviate pain and suffering,” said VanFleteren. “That, [for the] people who come to this clinic, we’re able to supply and provide glasses if they need it, take away the pain, and get them in a good place so they can enjoy the holidays just like everybody else.”

The free clinic stands ready to serve people on both sides of the age spectrum, and everyone in between. For children and seniors, it’s a matter of making them as comfortable as possible while waiting in line.

“We’ve been very lucky with the Salvation Army; they have come and helped us do breakfast for both days,” said VanFleteren. “We’ll get some wheelchairs in case they need assistance coming in. We’re going to work with them the best way we possibly can.

And if JoAnn VanFleteren and others at the Pensacola Remote Area Clinic get their way, this clinic will not be “one and done.”

“What I’m hoping is that it will be an annual clinic,” said VanFleteren. “It’s all dependent on how we do the first time.”

In addition to the medical services, Pensacola State College will offer haircuts and barber services.

To register as a volunteer for the Pensacola Remote Area Clinic – once again Saturday and Sunday, December 2nd and 3rd -- visit www.ramusa.org\volunteer.