The Free Clinic of Southwest Washington, a Vancouver-based organization that provides free health services to uninsured people, is gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year, scheduled for May 5.
The annual Sam Beall Breakfast fundraiser — named after the organization’s founder — went virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will also be held virtually this year. The organization hopes to raise $40,000 at the event, a much-needed boost after a tough year for healthcare providers.
“It’s been an interesting year for the clinic with COVID,” spokeswoman Pam Knepper said. “It finally looks like we’re coming out of this, but as a healthcare provider, we’re concerned about keeping everyone safe.”
The health services offered by the clinic, located at 4100, rue Plomondon, are made possible thanks to the organization’s 300 volunteers — doctors, nurses, dentists and others who offer their services free of charge.
The organization serves about 6,500 uninsured patients a year, according to Knepper.
The organization has seen a reduction in the number of volunteers throughout the pandemic, Knepper said. Many of the organization’s volunteers are retired medical professionals, and some have had to discontinue their services to avoid risking exposure. Now, as COVID-19 cases begin to decline, many volunteers are returning and the clinic is offering increased services.