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Little Rock to Host 'Free' Health Care Clinic November 21


Arkansas Lt Governor Bill Halter held a press conference yesterday to encourage more nurses and doctors to volunteer for the free health care clinic to be held Saturday November 21st in downtown Little Rock.

At the time of the press conference, 70 doctors and 125 nurses had volunteered to staff the free health care clinic which is being operated by the nonprofit National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC). Those doctors and nurses are only a small part of the more than 800 volunteers who have registered to work at the free health-care clinic.

Organizers would like to have at least 120 doctors and 150 nurses to care for the expected crowd of 1,000 plus patients. The Little Rock C.A.R.E. Clinic will provide medical treatment for uninsured Arkansans between the ages 6 to 65. Clinic hours will be from noon to 7 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Potential patients are encouraged to reserve an appointment by calling 1-877-236-7617. Operators working with the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) are fielding the toll-free calls. The NAFC, a Virginia-based non-profit organization, will operate the free clinic. Walk-ins are not guaranteed care.

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Kimberly K. Garner, MD, will serve as the clinic medical director. Dr. Garner is a geriatrician/researcher at the Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“We are extremely gratified by the tremendous support from people across the state. Volunteers are signing up in big numbers,” Halter said. “Our emphasis now is getting the word out to uninsured Arkansans so they will call the toll-free patient hotline and come to the clinic for immediate treatment as well as for information about where to access medical care in the future.”
Anyone wishing to volunteer can register with the NAFC on-line at www.regonline.com/LittleRockCARE or at www.freeclinics.us. Potential volunteers also can call the toll-free patient number to register.

The NAFC operates as an advocate for more than 1,200 free medical clinics and the people they serve nationwide. Recently, the non-profit received more than $1.2 million from people responding to a call from MSNBC news anchor Keith Olbermann for free medical clinics in six states, including Arkansas.

Lieutenant Governor Halter helped the NAFC secure 80,000 square feet of space at the Statehouse Convention Center for the free clinic. Halter’s office has since connected the NAFC with an Arkansas team of health-care providers, non-profit associations and government offices to help gather volunteers and otherwise prepare for the free clinic.

This team includes to date Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Heart Hospital, Arkansas Surgical Hospital, Baptist Health, Harmony Health Clinic, Mountain Home Medical Clinic, St. Vincent Health System, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Association of Charitable Clinics, Arkansas Black Nurses Association, Arkansas Health Care Access Association, Arkansas Hospital Association, Arkansas Medical Society, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Arkansas Nurses Association, American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas, Arkansas Interfaith Alliance, Catholic Charities of Arkansas, City Connections, River City Ministry, the City of Little Rock, the City of North Little Rock, Community Health Centers of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Health.

National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC)