Home Health As community health care needs increase, Perry Family Free Clinic looking for...

As community health care needs increase, Perry Family Free Clinic looking for more volunteer physicians

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The Perry Family Free Clinic, which provides quality health care for uninsured and under-insured Black men and others who are impacted by disparities in health care, is looking for physicians who will be able to volunteer their time at their headquarters on Madison’s West Side.

“Basically, we’re looking for like any type of clinician. We’ve just discovered that the need is ever increasing for our community here with people who are needing help and we’re having to book out appointments really far right now because we just don’t have enough volunteers,” Carli Kollross, an AmeriCorps volunteer who works full-time at the Perry Family Free Clinic, tells Madison365. “So in order to better serve the community, we’re really hoping that we can get some more doctors to work.”

Kollross, along with Chrissy McAtee and Brynn Beversodorf, are AmeriCorps volunteers  Edit date and timworking full-time at the Perry Family Free Clinic. The three wear many hats in their roles doing administrative work, patient check-in/vitals, and setting up programming (yoga, nutrition class, etc) and preventative screenings in the community, while connecting with people to get them appointments. The three also help run the dental clinic. 

“Physicians usually spend like around four to five hours here,” McAtee says. “Our physicians usually volunteer at 1-5 p.m. on Thursdays and 9:30 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays. So we’re really just flexible with whatever they may be able to do. If they have a full open day that they’re available, we would love to have them but we don’t have a minimum requirement or a maximum. If they want to be here all the time … that’s perfect!”

The Perry Family Free Clinic is located at 598 Grand Canyon Drive with a satellite clinic at 4304 Britta Parkway and a dental care clinic at 4619 Jenewein Drive. The Perry Family Free Clinic’s mission is to disrupt unhealthy life cycles for Black men by establishing trust and improving their health and quality of life.

Beversodorf says as AmeriCorps representatives that they are at the clinic Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

(L-r) Carli Kollross, Brynn Beversodorf, and Chrissy McAtee

“I think, specifically, what we’re looking for at the clinic are primary care clinicians, and when our clinic is operating, we see patients for a wide range of issues or ailments, but we will refer to the specialty care free clinic if we need a specialty outside of primary care,” Beversodorf says. “I’d say the majority of what we see are people with hypertension, people with diabetes, medication prescriptions or refills, or people who just need a physical.

“Many people have not seen a doctor in years and we are able to provide that access,” she adds. 

Kollross says they are seeing a lot more of the immigrant population coming to the clinic. “Some people haven’t seen a doctor in a long, long time,” she says, “so it’s all about getting them re-set up with a doctor.”

Kollross started at the clinic last June and Beversodorf and McAtee started last September. All three say they enjoy working with Joseph Roy, the director of the Perry Family Free Clinic, and Aaron Perry, the founder of the clinic. 

“Working at the Perry Family Free Clinic has been so rewarding,” Kollross says. “It’s just the best feeling in the world knowing like you’re helping somebody who might not be able to be helped otherwise. Aaron [Perry] is such a great guy, too. We love him. He’s always moving 100 miles a minute and always planning the next thing. Joseph [Roy], our clinic director, is also wonderful. We work with him every day.”

“I think my favorite thing is the amount that we get to learn about everything. Everybody we meet has had such a different experience with life and with health care itself, and all of us want to be like future providers,” McAte adds. “So it’s just such a nice window into people’s experiences that we feel like very privileged to be a part of.”

The trio Kollross, Beversodorf, McAtee — hope with some outreach that they will be able to find physicians who will volunteer their time at the clinic that they all find so rewarding and inspiring.

“The most impactful thing that I’ve gained is just forming connections with pretty much everyone who walks through our door … there’s always something special about each person and it’s really rewarding because when people set up primary care here, you’re able to see them multiple times and remember things about them and you can just see how their eyes light up,” Beversodorf says. “Over the time we’ve been there, it’s been really special to be able to gain those relationships and see the trust forming.”

 

If you are a physician who might be interested in volunteering at the Perry Family Free Clinic, e-mail Aaron Perry at [email protected]