Nestled among the expensive homes with beautiful landscaping in Carmel is a clinic where patients don’t have to pay a dollar and don’t need insurance.
The Trinity Free Clinic was started by parishioners like Cindy Love at Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a way to help other churchgoers whose children didn’t have the proper school immunizations because they couldn’t afford to pay for the shots.
“That is the first thing people say to me, ‘A free clinic in Hamilton County? Is there a need for that there?’ First of all, our statistics show there is,” said Love.
Love works as a nurse practitioner during the day, but she also has the role of Director of Medical Operations at what is now the Trinity Free Clinic. Doctors and nurses have set up in a building on the parish campus called the Matthew 25 Center.
“They generously rent this to us for $1 a year,” explained Love.
While the staff sees many immigrants and refugees from 90 different countries, most of the patients are Hamilton County residents working several part-time jobs just to make ends meet.
“We serve people that are low income,” said Executive Director Dina Ferchmin. “Some of them have insurance through their employers, but they can’t afford their deductibles.”
It’s not cheap to keep Trinity Free Clinic running with all of its programs. Staff puts together a yearly 5K help to cover the costs for the health exams, dental and eye clinics. The new goal for this year’s run is to fund the pediatric clinic.
“Twenty percent of our patients are kiddos,” said Ferchmin. “It costs us about $80,000 a year to pay for all of the needs of our patients.”
The next mission is to address the mental health of their patients.
“When you’ve got patients that are not only struggling with health issues, but financial issues and housing and family struggles, and then depression comes along with that,” said Ferchmin.
The Trinity Free Clinic 5K is Saturday October 15th at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.