Spring 2021 Updates

Expanding Access to Dental

This spring, we met with the leadership of Culpepper Gardens, the low-income, senior residences in Arlington, to discuss an agreement to begin providing dental care to some of Culpepper’s residents who don’t have access to dental services. This will add a new partner to the list of nonprofits that we currently work with—A-SPAN and the Virginia Hospital Center Outpatient Clinic—and increases the impact of our dental program on the community.

Behavioral Health Program Updates

Over half of our patients screen positive for a behavioral health (BH) need. In most cases, they are living with significant anxiety/depression or have past experiences of trauma that interfere with the ability to manage overall health. In 2002, we launched a BH program to address these important needs, offering psychiatry evaluations and counseling via volunteers about 10 hours per week. Four years ago, we began collaborating with Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) to embed a bilingual counselor at AFC an additional 18 hours per week. COVID-19 forced us to quickly learn how to provide BH services virtually. This effort was so successful that it’s clear that many aspects of BH telehealth are here to stay!

This past December, Marielle Levy, LPC, started as AFC’s new bilingual BH Program Manager. Ms. Levy looks forward to continuing a review of our BH program and using our investigation to determine how best to support patients through this challenging season and beyond.

Linking Social Factors to Health in Arlington— Collaborative Grant Year Three

In March we got our LINK team (the four clinics caring for Arlington’s underserved population: AFC, VHC Outpatient Clinic, VHC Pediatrics, and Arlington County DHS Maternal & Child Health) together to discuss our third year of collaboration. This year’s grant will focus on creating systems change to improve community conditions that contribute to poor health.

Thanks to Northern Virginia Health Foundation (which has funded our partnership since 2019) we’ve collected important patient data on social determinants of health such as food, housing, safety, and—more recently— technology access/literacy. There is a lot going on in Arlington now related to food security (including a newly hired County Food Security Coordinator) and digital access. Over the coming year, the LINK partners will be working on projects that address both important topics, as well as working to make our providers more aware of social determinants of health as key health indicators.

Amazon Marks Two-Year Anniversary of Arlington Headquarters with $250K Donation

Happy anniversary to our neighbor Amazon, who recently marked the occasion with $9M in donations to local nonprofits, including a very generous $250K contribution to Arlington Free Clinic. AFC is grateful to Amazon for recognizing the enormous challenges that nonprofits are facing right now and responding in such a significant way.

In Gratitude to the Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund

The Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund (SMBHF) was established in 1997 by the Arlington County Medical Society Foundation and the McGowan Family in memory of Sharon McGowan, an Arlington mother of seven, who died at age 45 after battling breast cancer. The fund supports mammograms and biopsies for uninsured patients (including those AFC serves) fighting breast cancer in Northern Virginia.

For 20 years the SMBHF has been sustained by the community through annual events, private donations, and support from the Arlington County Medical Society. Committee volunteers; the McGowan, Shapiro, Gropper, and Koch families; and the Yorktown High School Softball Boosters have all come together over two decades to honor the memory of Sharon McGowan through support of this mission.

This spring, the Arlington County Medical Society Foundation generously bestowed the Fund to Arlington Free Clinic, where it will continue to make a vital impact on breast health among our underserved neighbors.

Read our entire 2021 Spring Newsletter.

Coming to the Table: Addressing Food Insecurity During the Pandemic
AFC’s Vaccine Clinics
Patient Story: Maria
Letter from the President: Arlington Free Clinic’s Role in Ensuring Vaccine Equity
Recognizing Jim Cole, President & CEO of Virginia Hospital Center, Friend of AFC
Transitioning to a Post-COVID-19 World Through a Mix of Virtual & Onsite Care
COVID-19: Year in Review