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Franklin County Free Clinic moves to new space

By Frankie Jupiter, fjupiter@wdbj7.com
Published On: Apr 07 2014 07:40:39 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 07 2014 07:52:48 PM EDT

The new facility has more space which allows it to see more patients. And many of those patients are people who can't afford health care.

ROCKY MOUNT,Va. -

The Free Clinic in Franklin County is open and seeing patients.

“For me, it makes me safe, because it's some place that I can come to and I know that they are going to take care of me,” said patient Sandy Crocker.

Crocker is unemployed at the moment and today her allergies are starting to flare up. Without the clinic and its services she wouldn't be able to get treatment for this or any of her other ailments. She says she can’t afford health insurance.

It's a hard truth clinic Executive Director Alise Culbertson sees too many times.

“For a lot of people, you never plan on when you're going to be sick of course. For a lot of patients as long as we're open more hours more days we are utilize quite a lot,” said Culbertson.

In the old facility saw around 2500 patients' visits a year. The new facility will be able to double that at 5000.

This room is being used to store furniture and material for the time being, but the ultimate goal is to provide full dental care. Right now the clinic only does extractions.

“Right now there is a waiting list. There is nowhere for them to go. Right now we do it once a month, twice a month on Friday and we do it with the health department,” said Culbertson.

The waiting list just for extractions can be up to 6 months long. The hope is to fundraise to buy the equipment needed for full dental care.

Also new to this clinic is triage area and lab areas, where blood samples can be collected.

“We want to make sure we're meeting the needs of the patients and as we all understand sickness happens all the time,” said Culbertson.

The hope is in the future is to offer services on Fridays and Saturdays to help better serve the community.