Our Mission Continues During COVID-19
The mission of the Loudoun Free Clinic is to support healthcare services for Loudoun County residents who, as a result of economic or other barriers, would otherwise do without. The COVID-19 virus has not stopped our mission!
The Loudoun Free Clinic continues to provide comprehensive healthcare for uninsured residents of Loudoun County since 1999 and remains open through the COVID-19 pandemic while being careful to keep our staff and patients safe by modifying patient schedules and protocols. Routine, non-essential appointments have been rescheduled, but we continue to see patients with urgent matters. All patients are pre-screened for symptoms by telephone the day before and at the time of the appointment. We continue to monitor our patients with chronic conditions via telephonic visits and have modified our prescription pickup process to ensure our patients have their needed medications while minimizing exposure.
“By staying open, we are doing our part in flattening the curve of this serious pandemic and preventing increases in emergency room visits.” said Board Chairman, Bill Schmidt. “If we can provide continuous care for our patients by phone and provide their medications for pick up, they won’t end up in the emergency room. This is how we are working to flatten the curve. Being open today during this crisis looks different, but we are open and continue to serve the community.” The Loudoun Free Clinic team consists of dedicated staff members, volunteers and a Board of Directors who work together as a family supporting one another and the community.
Paula Callaghan, Patient Eligibility Coordinator and Outreach Specialist at Loudoun Free Clinic says, “We have more than 780 active patients that fall below 300% of the Federal Poverty Line in the County. In addition, our patients have been hurt by COVID-19 because most of them work in restaurants, hospitality business, cleaning companies, etc. We are doing our best and continue serving the most vulnerable people in the County. We are the only free clinic that provides doctor visits for sick care and preventive screenings, chronic management, well woman exams, prescription medicines, flu shots, specialty care, mental health and bilingual staff.”
“This is a very difficult time for our community’s health,” said Dr. Christopher Chiantella, the clinic’s Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer at Inova Loudoun Hospital. “Information and guidelines change daily related to COVID-19. We have to balance the absolute necessity of social distancing and isolation to minimize spread of this very virulent virus, while continuing to manage chronic illness. The possibility of isolation is difficult for many of our patients. Those who have chronic illness like diabetes, hypertension, and chronic lung disease, as well as those on certain medications which affect one’s ability to fight infections, are particularly at risk. Continuing to follow these patients is crucial to maintain our population’s health."
"It is through isolation and maintenance of health that we will reduce the collective spread of the virus and the individual risk. The clinic is here to balance both these important goals as we support our entire community, both those enrolled in the clinic and the population in general," Dr. Chiantella continued.
The hard work of Loudoun Free Clinic has not gone unnoticed. The community has rallied to lend tremendous support, as evidenced by the outpouring of recent in-kind donations.
“We truly appreciate the donations of hand sanitizer produced by Catoctin Creek Distillery, homemade masks, canned goods and grocery store gift cards for our patients in imminent need. Thank you for generosity and for thinking of our patients and staff during this time,” stated Colleen Breuning, Director of Business Operations.
If you would like to support Loudoun Free Clinic, please consider a donation during Give Choose on May 5 at:
www.givechoose.org/LoudounFreeClinic or by visiting the Loudoun Free Clinic website at:
Press Release written by: Mindy Rubin, Dr. Christopher Chiantella, Bill Schmidt, Paula Callaghan & Colleen Breuning © 2020