The Pocatello Free Clinic (PFC) is a non-profit healthcare organization, providing outpatient primary care services and advocacy to decrease health disparities among underserved populations. PFC Medical Provider Cindy Bunde, PA-C feels rewarded to have the opportunity to do truly meaningful work. “I hear sad stories of those who have lost their jobs and those fleeing domestic violence, inspiring stories of those struggling to rebuild a life after conquering addictions or having been incarcerated, and frustrating stories of those whose health has deteriorated to near-fatal conditions because of an inability to pay for healthcare services,” she said. Ms. Bunde has found that PFC patients care about their health, want to receive professional and dignified care, and are grateful for the help provided by staff and volunteers.
Unfortunately, even after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 11.8% of Idahoans still lack health insurance. The ACA was never meant to provide universal health coverage and 19 states, including Idaho, have a large population of individuals who do not qualify for traditional Medicaid and who make too little to receive subsidies on the healthcare exchange. Fifty percent of PFC patients and 78,000 Idahoans fall into this coverage gap.
No matter how careful one is, illness is inevitable. The PFC provides primary care for a demographic that has few options when this occurs. Those without insurance often wait to seek care until a condition becomes urgent, affecting long-term health and accumulating bills which they may never pay off or which displace resources for food and shelter. At the PFC, we are pleased to have the ability to offer relief for those who are sick and in-need and to help these individuals better position themselves to meet their goals in life. In 2015, The PFC delivered $741,000 in services to vulnerable persons in Eastern Idaho. For more information, please visit www.pocatellofreeclinic.com.
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