We at Arlington Free Clinic believe that all people should have access to healthcare— regardless of income, nationality or creed—so we were thrilled when Virginia expanded Medicaid coverage earlier this year. Medicaid expansion will bring care to thousands of Virginians, including many Arlingtonians.
Over the past few months, we have learned a lot as we’ve carefully considered the impact of Medicaid expansion on those we serve. We’ve had conversations with local safety-net leaders, county and state health officials, our volunteer health professionals and experts across the country to understand the gaps in care that will continue to exist. We have learned that while Medicaid will greatly increase access to health care, it will not cover everyone in need, nor will it provide access to the full range of services generally required to get and stay healthy.
Our mission—to provide free, high-quality healthcare to low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults through the generosity of donors and volunteers—remains unchanged and critically important. We will:
- Continue to serve as a comprehensive medical home for the many Arlingtonians who will remain uncovered, even after Medicaid expansion;
- Be there to fill gaps in care, for services such as dental, that Medicaid does not cover;
- Provide continuity and security for vulnerable residents by maintaining a steady medical home while the stability of the Affordable Care Act— whether the law is repealed, dismantled piece by piece, modified, or kept intact—remains unclear
AFC will be busy in the coming months with the important job of helping Medicaid-eligible patients transition to new medical providers. We plan to bring patient navigators onsite to help with enrollment and are providing training to our clinical team to ensure continuity of care for all patients and especially for those who are seriously ill.
It would be nice to think that the expansion of health insurance would give us reason to close our doors—and maybe someday it will. But for now—and for many years to come—AFC remains dedicated to providing the highest quality, most comprehensive care possible to our most vulnerable residents. Arlington Free Clinic will continue to serve—until everyone has healthcare.
Adam R. Hess, JD
Read our entire 2018 Annual Report here.
Patient Story: Gabriel & Diego—Brotherly Love
Message from our Medical Director: Caring For Very Seriously Ill Patients
Message from our President: What Our Dental Expansion Will Mean
AFC Highlights, July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018
Why I Volunteer: Margot Wheeler, MD
Donor Profile: “Lyfting” barriers to care
Practice Spotlight: Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group Cardiology