Dr. Jane Hewitt and Francisca at the RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul.

When Francisca came to America four years ago with her family – her husband and two children, they came in search of a better life. She and her husband began working to support their then 3-year old daughter and 7-year old son. But this was threatened when Francisca started feeling sick. Dizziness, weakness, fatigue – these things plagued Francisca and threatened her ability to work, but without health insurance, there wasn’t really anything she could do to get adequate treatment.

Francisca was so grateful when she found the RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul. Francisca received free medical exams, free lab tests, free follow-up care and free pharmaceuticals, which led to a successful diagnosis and treatment of her anemia. Treatment and education have helped Francisca control her condition and allowed her to continue working and supporting her family.

She found herself in need of medical services from the free clinic again when she began feeling pain in her abdomen. Through the free clinic, Francisca is getting the treatment and care she needs, but she is just one story out of thousands in Contra Costa County that find themselves without adequate medical insurance and thus without access to medical care.

By equipping the free clinic with an Electronic Medical Records system and the staffing that implemented the EMR system, the clinic continues to serve patients like Francisca. Telehealth allows clinic providers to not only safely treat patients during the pandemic, but to also support patients who have disabilities preventing them from visiting the clinic in person. It also allows physicians who are in the ”vulnerable” age group and susceptible to serious complications from the COVID0-19 virus to practice from a remote location.