'Compassion in action': Free clinic expanding to help more people

'Compassion in action': Free clinic expanding to help more people

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Getting proper health care is a challenge for so many people across WAVE Country. The reality is that people go without medical care, or they head to an emergency room, which is costly.

For those who are struggling, there is a place to get help for free.

In Louisville's Butchertown neighborhood, inside the doors of the St. Joseph Catholic Church on East Washington Street, is the Family Community Clinic.

On a Thursday, the clinic waiting room was packed.

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"We see patients who are medically uninsured in the Louisville community and surrounding counties," Becky Montague said. "The need is great."

In the hallway of the Family Community Clinic are doctors, nurses, social workers and interpreters who volunteer their time to help others.

"Sixty percent of our patient population is Hispanic," Montague said. "We still have 8 to 10 percent of Louisville who are uninsured, that's adults and children."

The clinic opened in 2011. They anticipated seeing around 2,000 patients a year, but because there is such a need, their patient visits have grown by 40 percent each year.

They saw 5,000 patients in 2017. They are preparing for 6,000 this year.

They can't see that many people with the space they have, so, they are expanding. The clinic is growing into the first floor of the former St. Joseph School building.

The new space will allow the Family Community Clinic to triple their square footage, allowing them to see up to 15,000 patients each year.

The space will feature a waiting room, four exam rooms and an expanded lab -- much larger than the coat closet the clinic currently uses.

"The more diagnostic services we can do at the point of care when the patient is physically in the clinic, the better outcomes for the patients," Montague explained.

They hope to move in by late summer or early fall.

"We are the most compassionate city and this is compassion in action," Montague said.

Family Community Clinic also partners with local organizations such as the UofL Dental School and Norton Healthcare Centers to further promote health wellness and prevention.

These services include free dental screenings, as well as mammogram and pap smear screenings.

They need volunteers and donations as they grow. For more information about the clinic, click or tap here.

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