How Your Gift Helps

patient letters

If you eat in local restaurants, have a housekeeper or lawn service, play golf, or eat local produce, you have probably  been served by those who live or work across the Barrier Islands and Downtown Charleston – who have no health insurance. Many of the uninsured you meet are likely our patients at Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic. Your generous gift to The Free Clinic ensures that those in the community without access to health insurance are provided care, creating a healthier, happier community for everyone. Learn more about who will benefit from your support below, or Donate Now

If you are unable to make a financial gift at this time, there are many other ways you can help the Free Clinic right now.

“The first step is to see the problems, and the first problem is the failure to see the people. Those who work but live impoverished lives blend into the familiar landscapes and are therefore overlooked.”

–David K. Shipler, The Working Poor

Who Are Our Patients?

Our patients are primarily the working poor. Those on the fringes of the U.S. economy are often hit hardest during times of economic decline. Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is committed to serving the impoverished as a first response organization. Through your donation, we are able to provide a primary care medical home to those who have lost their jobs and insurance, or cannot afford medical coverage.

The Affordable Healthcare Act has achieved coverage for many, but not for all. Of those living at or below the poverty level, Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is vital to serving as a first line of defense. We offer regular health screenings, low cost prescriptions, and referrals to medical experts in the community at low or no cost. These health benefits lessen the degree of poverty experienced by the Barrier Islands community at large by 11%, and assist 22% of those living at or below the current federal poverty guidelines.

Too often, the sickest, uninsured patients are forced to seek their primary care in the emergency room (ER). The 2010 cost of unfunded ER visits for primary care at Roper Saint Francis’ four sites was $8,300,000, and at MUSC was $2,700,000. The 2010 average cost of a primary care visit in a South Carolina ER was $2,048. Conversely, The Clinic cost to provide a primary care visit is $69. We posit that unfunded primary care visits should occur in our Clinic, rather than the emergency room. Fundraising costs and overhead is kept low; of each dollar raised 82% is used for direct patient care.

We need your support. By implementing the Free Clinic Model of low-cost, volunteer-driven medical care, we are creating healthier workers and a stronger community. The clinic is funded by private donations, fund raising events and grants. No Federal, State or other governmental monies are used.

Charleston Cares; BIFMC Covers. Help Us Keep Our Community Healthy. Donate Now or learn more about volunteer efforts here.

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic, a free clinic in Charleston, SC, is funded by individual contributions, grants from private foundations, community and religious organizations, local grants and fundraising events. Of every dollar you donate, 82 cents goes directly to patient care.

The Free Clinic is a 501c3 entity so your donation is tax deductible.