Volunteers and Partners //
If the Clinic is a body, then the volunteer corps is the lifeblood pumping through its veins, supplying vital oxygen to all the Clinic's various organs. We would be unable to care for any of our patients without the countless hours volunteered by these generous individuals. The Clinic's volunteers can be divided into three groups, Clinical Volunteers, Administrative Volunteers, and Professional Support Volunteers
The Clinic is also fueled by over one hundred partnerships with area businesses, foundations, and universities. These partnerships ensure that we can continue to offer the highest quality of care to all our patients.
Clinical Volunteers //
Clinical volunteers are licensed medical and health professionals who volunteer during the evenings or during the day for the Clinic. Many of our volunteer doctors see Clinic patients in their own offices, making it possible for our patients to receive free medical services in their own communities.
Volunteer professionals for primary and specialty care include Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants. Mental health professionals include Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Wellness Coaches, Nutritionists, and Exercise Instructors. Dental professionals include Dentists, Oral Surgeons, and Dental Hygienists.
Retired physicians, nurses and others are especially encouraged to apply and join our volunteer medical staff!
Administrative Volunteers //
Administrative volunteers at the Free Clinic fill several essential roles in delivering healthcare to our patients.
Check-In and check-out volunteers greet patients as they arrive and make sure they are registered in our system, then sign out patients, schedule patients’ follow-up and new appointments, and complete lab work and referral forms. These volunteers have direct patient contact and constantly interact with our volunteer health professionals.
Patient information specialists are responsible for creating and updating new patient profiles in the clinic’s electronic medical records system as well as assisting with uploading patient history reports. These volunteers ensure new patients receive proper care at the clinic and contribute directly to the growth of our patient population.
Volunteer advocates in the Clinic's Patient Assistance Program are essential in getting medication to patients. The Clinic’s Patient Assistant Program provides free, prescription medications to patients who cannot afford them. Volunteer advocates take up the role of patient representative assisting in the patient’s application process for new medication and refills, conducting inventory for stored medication, as well as calling pharmaceutical companies to follow up on applications.
Finally, eligibility screening volunteers conduct introductory meetings with patients to see if they qualify to be a Clinic patient. Eligibility screening volunteers check patient information and direct them to alternative healthcare options if they are not eligible for treatment at the Clinic.
Professional Support Volunteers //
The Free Clinic's professional support volunteers work closely with providers and patients, serving in the examination rooms to treat patients with care and dignity.
Medical assistants are responsible for prepping patients to be seen by the provider, including measuring and recording patient health information, taking blood pressure, and administering EKGs. Medical recorders assist our clinical volunteers in note taking for patient appointments. Depending on the appointment type and the medical professional's preference, medical recorders will either record in the exam room during the appointment or will record in the volunteer room after the appointment. Finally, our Spanish interpreters provide interpretation services for Spanish-speaking patients. As our patient base is ~85% Spanish-speaking, our Spanish interpreters are incredibly valuable to the Clinic.
Community Partners //
The Rhode Island Free Clinic depends on the resources and ongoing generosity of Community Partners to best serve our patients and provide hands-on training to aspiring health care professionals. Our partners are statewide and include corporations and foundations, as well as healthcare, academic, and community service organizations.
Leading Rhode Island technical schools, colleges, and universities partner with us to provide students with real-world educational experiences in our award-winning Clinic on the forefront of public health.
They say the way to one's heart is through the stomach - medically inaccurate, but we'll let it slide this time. Our Meal Partners have certainly earned a place in our hearts with their delicious and nutritious donation of meals to feed hungry volunteers who serve at the Clinic after a long work day or during their normal lunch or dinner time.