We are a student-run organization, providing educational opportunities for professional and undergraduate volunteers.
We are committed to providing quality health care to our community, free of charge. Our organization earned a 2020 Gold Rating from the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) Quality Standards Program.
Provide high-quality medical services and equitable care to address patients' needs, with the ultimate goal of finding patients a medical home.
Connect individuals to patient-centered resources to address barriers to care, health literacy, and social determinants of health.
Foster an interprofessional, collaborative approach between volunteer healthcare professionals and students committed to delivering comprehensive care in an educational environment.
Promote an inclusive, culturally humble healthcare community by cultivating a volunteer team that reflects the diversity and respects the values of our patient population.
Advocate for our community and partner with other agencies to amplify our patients' voices.
A Message for Our Community
At the Columbus Free Clinic, we strive to be inclusive to all communities in need. Given recent events, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to supporting and providing quality care to all members of our community.
We believe that Black Lives Matter.
We stand in solidarity with marginalized voices in the wake of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others whose lives were cut short by police brutality. Police brutality is only one example of the various forms of systemic racism that patients from marginalized communities must contend with on a daily basis.
We recognize that there are rampant racial disparities that unjustly disadvantage our Black patients. In Franklin county, Black residents have a poverty level three times greater than their white counterparts. This is undoubtedly due to years of discriminatory laws and unequal access to community resources. This perpetuates a cycle that prevents Black populations from proper access to higher education, safe housing, and equitable pay. Studies have shown that Black Americans are more likely to experience higher degrees of chronic stress due to perceived discrimination. Consequently, Black Americans are more likely to experience hypertension, diabetes, cancer, infant mortality, and maternal mortality. While African Americans only make up 23% of our patients at Columbus Free Clinic, they make 32.6% of our orders for hypertension medications and 35.1% of our orders for diabetes medications. These trends do not apply just to our clinic, but to every practice in Ohio. Black Ohoians experience diabetes at a rate of 16.0%, while White Ohioans experience diabetes at a rate of 11.3%. This is a manifestation of systemic racism.
Our mission at the Columbus Free Clinic is to provide quality medical care to all members of our community. While we cannot speak to the experience of being Black in America, we can attest to the effects of socioeconomic barriers on health outcomes. We will continue to serve our patients however we can to begin to address these obstacles.
We also send a strong message of support to our patients who belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. (LGBTQ+) community. We know that the LGBTQ+ community, and the trans community in particular, are disproportionately victimized by violence. This year alone, at least 16 transgender or gender non-conforming individuals have been fatally shot or killed by other means. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community as we remember Nina Pop, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, and too many other trans individuals who lost their lives to hate and violence. Transphobia also manifests in health disparities, as trans patients are less likely to seek healthcare due to fear of discrimination, and are more likely to suffer from depression and other mental illness.
At the Columbus Free Clinic, we want patients to know that all patients from the LGBTQ+ community are welcome, and will be treated with respect and the highest quality of care. We are committed to promoting a culture of respect, equal treatment, and inclusion for patients, visitors, students, and staff, and we put this culture into practice by educating the staff on the medical needs specific to the LGBTQ+ community, having a gender and sexual orientation-inclusive intake process, and providing LGBTQ+ specific resources. Through these actionable steps, we at the Columbus Free Clinic strive to be an affirming practice to our patients and staff within the LGBTQ+ community.
To our volunteers, thank you for your commitment to helping us carry out our mission to serve all members of our community. To our patients, thank you so much for allowing us to work with you to meet your healthcare needs. It is a privilege to know and work with you all.
Columbus Free Clinic staff
Our 2020 Steering Committee
Medical Student Team
Havi Rosen - Committee Coordinator
Marisa Ulrich - Operations Coordinator
Sal Gomez - Volunteer Coordinator
Claire Kovalchin - Undergraduate Volunteer Coordinator
Radhi Pandit - In-House Specialty Coordinator
Farida Eid - Referrals Coordinator
Annie Lu - Referrals Coordinator
Mimi Zhang - Data Analyst & EHR Coordinator
Molly McNamara - Advocacy/Outreach Coordinator
Jake LaFleur - Lab Coordinator
Lauren Hurst - Chronic Care Coordinator
Simi Chahal - Chronic Care Coordinator
Social Work Team
Addison Torrence - Lead Undergraduate Volunteer
Hafsa Asif - Deputy Lead Undergraduate Volunteer