Mission: To ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care.
About the Organization: Founded in 2001 by a group of grassroots medical providers and organizers, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics believes that access to health care should be a right, not a privilege, and works to promote quality health care for all. Across the United States, fourteen hundred free and charitable clinics — 501(c)(3)s or affiliated safety-net health care organizations run on a volunteer/staff model — provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision, and/or behavioral health services to about two million economically disadvantaged individuals who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or have limited or no access to primary, specialty, or prescription health care. These clinics and pharmacies receive little to no state or federal funding, do not receive HRSA 330 funds, and are not Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers. NAFCC supports its member clinics, works to educate the public and lawmakers with the aim of informing the discourse around healthcare policy and reform, and advocates for access to affordable quality health care for all.
Current Programs: The organization's education programs include an annual Charitable Health Care Symposium, a national educational conference that brings together medical directors, clinical and pharmacy personnel, management level staff, medical students, and volunteers from member clinics. The organization also provides clinics, volunteers, researchers, legislators, and the general public with resources and information about the continued need for healthcare equality, accessibility, affordability, and portability for the medically underserved, including journal articles and publications. Its advocacy activities are focused on promoting access to affordable health care as a right and in the interest of better public health, while its issue focus includes annual funding appropriations such as Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children's Health Insurance Program and strategic policy objectives such as legislation to improve access to care and medication, stabilize the insurance market, and address social determinants of health.
COVID-19 Response: Since the beginning of the pandemic, the association has received requests for funding totaling more than $16 million from free and charitable clinics and pharmacies on the front lines of the public health emergency. The organization is raising philanthropic support to meet that need and has received $4.25 million to date through programs administered by Direct Relief, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, CVS Health, and the CVS Health Foundation.
Website: Visitors to the NAFCC website can use it to locate a free or charitable clinic or pharmacy near them, learn more about the role of free and charitable clinics in caring for the medically underserved, donate to the NAFC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response Efforts, and/or get involved by giving to the organization, volunteering, or becoming a member.
Funding: The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is supported by foundations, corporations, and individuals.