(Athens, OH – Dec. 4, 2015) — The Heritage Community Clinic at the
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has a
special reason to celebrate Free Clinic Appreciation month. The Ohio
Association of Free Clinics (OAFC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
have recognized the facility as the state’s Free Clinic of the Year.
The honor is one of four new awards established by state legislation
last year, designating December as Free Clinic Appreciation Month.
The awards – which also include Free Clinic Physician, Nurse and
Dentist of the Year – were presented by ODH officials at the Ohio
Statehouse Dec. 2.
“We feel very honored and grateful to be chosen for this award,”
said Kathy Trace, M.A., B.S.N., R.N., director of Community Health
Programs and the Area Health Education Center at the Heritage
College. “We are fortunate to have the support of the Heritage
College and the service of dedicated physicians and passionate staff
who provide the care for our community. And of course, we deeply
appreciate our grantors and collaborators who make this work
Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O., called
the award a well-deserved acknowledgement, for a program that
embodies a central part of the college’s mission. “The work of our
faculty, students and staff in the Heritage Community Clinic
exemplifies this college’s commitment to improving health care
access for the people of our region who need it most,” Johnson said.
“It is so fitting and really great to see their dedication and hard
work being recognized.”
ODH Director Rick Hodges praised the Heritage Community Clinic
and the more than 50 other free clinics statewide for their work.
“Affordable, accessible health care is essential and Ohio’s free
clinics play an important role in providing both for Ohioans,”
Hodges said. “The Ohio Department of Health is proud to honor the
exceptional work of Ohio’s free clinics and their outstanding
volunteers that help protect and improve the life of all Ohioans.”
OAFC Executive Director Deborah Miller said the group “is
extremely thankful to be able to work with the Legislature and ODH
to recognize the hard work of Ohio’s free clinics and the volunteers
who serve there. The work being done through the free clinic systems
is meeting the needs of the most at-risk individuals in Ohio; those
who remain without coverage or without access to care."
The Heritage Community Clinic, located on the ground floor of
Grosvenor West Hall in Athens, offers primary and specialty health
care to qualifying adults in Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Morgan, Perry
and Washington counties. It provides referrals to other area care
providers, as well as help with prescriptions. The clinic’s two
mobile units, which contain fully equipped examination rooms,
regularly visit multiple counties in the region to provide
screenings, immunizations and other health care services.
In 2014-15, according to Community Health Programs, the clinic
served 598 patients with care at a value of $72,368; distributed 346
prescription vouchers and reimbursed local pharmacies $15,597;
provided 115 prescription medications at a value of $177,866; and
provided supplies including diabetes testing materials worth
In addition to funding from the Heritage College and OAFC, the
clinic received support in 2014-15 from the Osteopathic Heritage
Foundation, Sisters Health Foundation, Susan G. Komen Columbus and
United Appeal of Athens, Ohio.
The Ohio Association of Free Clinics advocates on behalf of
Ohio’s free clinics and the people they serve. The OAFC does not
provide direct health-care services on site, but supports the
clinics that do.
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are
prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state
and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni
practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio.
CARE LEADS HERE.