Martha awaits treatment at the RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul.

The need to provide equitable access to healthcare has certainly been highlighted by events this year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic forced the RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul to modify service to telephone appointments initially, it is back to seeing patients face-to-face since August.

The health and safety of our volunteers and patients has never been more paramount. With an abundance of new safety equipment and protocols, the clinic is proud to provide face-to-face healthcare to the underserved and uninsured in the county once again.

Our patients, like Martha of Pittsburg, are uninsured. Working at a restaurant, her employer does not offer health insurance, and it’s too expensive on her limited income to get adequate healthcare.

Until she felt ill, healthcare was not a priority. Luckily, the free medical clinic was here to help her through her diagnosis of diabetes and hypertension. “I appreciate the volunteers here so much,” Martha says, “even when they lovingly scold me to make lifestyle changes.”

Martha uses many of the clinic’s services including primary care, flu shorts, diabetes education and healthy-cooking classes.

“The clinic is for people who have no other access,” says Hamid Khonsari, M.D., the clinic’s volunteer medical director. “It makes a big impact in the community.”