Our clinic is able to operate and serve hundreds of uninsured patients who live or work on Johns, James and Wadmalaw Island – thanks to the good will and contribution of our donors. Each month, BIFMC will pay tribute to one of our many generous supporters who seek to improve the overall health and goodwill of the community.
This month, we shine a spotlight on The Medical Society of South Carolina (MSSC) for their extraordinary generosity and continued commitment to community-based health. The fourth oldest Medical Society in the US, known for “Pioneering advances in our region’s healthcare since 1789,” has a long history of leadership, philanthropy and good will – and has been instrumental in supporting BIFMC since the Clinic doors opened in 2008.
The Medical Society of South Carolina recently awarded Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic a grant of $85,000 for General Operations via the Roper St. Francis Physicians Endowment. The significant grant was administered through Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) and is directed each year toward community-based health programs that improve “health, wellness, and access.”
MSSC President, John Holloway, states, “BIFMC is very deliberate and disciplined about enhancing community health care accessibility, the core of the MSSC vision for its grants program.”
According to The Medical Society’s website, the organization “pioneers, provides and protects the health of our community’s people by directing skills and resources through the Roper St. Francis Healthcare System and the physicians who dedicate their lives to the good of all.” Each year, $500,000 in grants are administered throughout the community, working closely with Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) and approved by the MSSC Board of Directors.
Coastal Community Foundation Vice President, Edie Blakeslee, worked closely with MSSC to allocate funding. “The Medical Society looks to support organizations that have measurable impact and create healthier communities because they know that not everyone has easy access to healthcare or wellness activities.”
Since it’s foundation in 2008, BIFMC – inspired by the Volunteers in Medicine model based out of Hilton Head – has served over 4,000 uninsured patients on Johns, James and Wadmalaw Islands, utilizing the volunteer driven aid of 122 doctors, nurses and support staff. The clinic typically sees the flow of 350 patients each month, and operates solely on grants and individual donors.
Blakeslee adds of the joint decision to offer a substantial grant to the Clinic, “The conversations around funding for BIFMC have focused on the specific niche that BIFMC serves, and what would happen to those residents if they didn’t have that resource. That, and how creative the staff and volunteers are at providing high-caliber care, with specialized programming aimed at some seriously entrenched chronic illness.”
BIFMC Board Chair and physician Dr. Jim Hayes, who previously served on the Board of The Medical Society of South Carolina, credits their partnership as being fundamental to the operations of the free clinic.
“I would like to thank the Medical Society for their support,” he states. “Without their support, there would be no clinic, and we could not serve our mission of being a medical home for uninsured adults who live or work on the Barrier Islands.”
Clinic Director, Brenda Falls, also expressed her deep gratitude for the significant grant contribution and the partnership between the MSSC and Coastal Community Foundation that made it possible. “The Medical Society has been a supporter and friend of the clinic since the beginning. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to apply for grants each year through our friends at The Coastal Community Foundation!”
You can find all of our previous Donor Spotlight features here.
Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic provides medical care to eligible patients, just like any family practitioner or internist – but it is free. We serve uninsured adults living at or below 200 % of the Federal poverty level who live or work on Johns, Wadmalaw or James Islands. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.