If you’re just learning about the Community Care Center in Winston-Salem, welcome to what is a life-changing mission for local families, and a labor of love for the Center’s amazing volunteers.
As one of the largest, most comprehensive free healthcare clinic in the Southeast, the Center provides healthcare services and medications to uninsured patients who do not qualify for federal or private insurance, and who have a family income below 200% of the federal poverty level. A 501 (c)(3) non-profit, the Community Care Center is staffed by medical professionals with a variety of backgrounds and specialties, all with a singular passion to treat their fellow humans with compassion, sensitivity, and respect, regardless of their nationality or their ability to pay.
Since opening in 2000, the Center has cared for over 25,000 patients, and provided more than $150 million in services and medicines for qualifying patients in Forsyth, Davie, and Stokes counties.
“We rely on many partners to provide free healthcare access and we have a common mission — to provide care for the medically underserved. This includes providing otherwise inaccessible primary care, which in turn prevents unnecessary future visits to hospital emergency departments,” said Tim Clontz, executive director/CEO of Community Care Center.
Women can also receive general gynecological services at the Center, including pap smears, breast exams, pelvic exams, and birth control management, and while children have been seen in the past, the current doctor shortage has left the clinic with no pediatrician at this time. However, physicians at the Center work with other practices to make referrals for any health needs that cannot be met onsite.
“We have served as the medical home for approximately 2,600 unique patients annually,” says Pam Anglin, Marketing and Development Consultant. “Before Covid we had approximately 350 active medical, dental, and non-medical volunteers who donated over 10,000 hours of their time – most in addition to working full-time jobs.”
The Center now has just over 70 physicians, PAs and nurse practitioners, 10 of whom are bi-lingual, and 28 practicing gynecology staff members. With the recent lack of volunteer labor and the loss of income from not being able to hold in-person fundraising events, the need for donations and volunteers is stronger than ever!
The need in the community is stronger than ever as well. Patients must meet eligibility guidelines, with financial screenings conducted to verify income before applicants are approved. Families are also re-screened to determine continuing eligibility.
“Extended family members are also affected in many ways,” says Pam. “The loss of a parent, or the inability of a parent to work, may affect a family for generations and be the difference between poverty and having a decent living.”
“Free clinics need partners such as universities, community colleges, and healthcare systems to help encourage those underserved individuals to utilize our available resources, as well as to aid in creating new public health policies that help eliminate health disparities,” adds Tim.
Playing a vital role for families now – and in shaping the future health of our community – the Community Care Center is crucial for our families, our youth, our senior citizens, and our neighbors around us facing daily adversity. Low-income patients tend to postpone medical care until chronic conditions become serious because they lack financial resources or access to a personal physician they trust.
Life-changing is indeed the most appropriate phrase to describe the Community Care Center, and as a community neighbor, you can donate, you can volunteer, and you can spread the word!
The Community Care Center is located at 2135 New Walkertown Road in Winston-Salem. Call them for more information at 336-723-7904, or learn more about their services at carectr.org. Clinic hours are Monday and Thursday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Patients are seen by appointment, with extended evening hours to accommodate work schedules. For more information contact Executive Director/CEO Tim Clontz at 336-760-1235, or Marketing and Development Consultant Pam Anglin at 336.682.8806.