Letter: Free Clinic grateful for towns' support

To the Editor:

Thank you to the voters of Bennington, Pownal and Shaftsbury for supporting the Bennington Free Clinic at March Town Meeting. We are grateful for your on-going generosity.

The Free Clinic provides primary care to adults 18 years old and older who do not have health insurance because they can't afford it or it is not offered by their place of employment.

In 2017, our volunteer doctors and nurses saw 407 patients at the Free Clinic, 292 of whom were new patients. We enrolled 315 households in Vermont health insurance programs. Our Ladies First program which is focused on women's health and wellness enrolled 53 new members.

Though the Free Clinic is staffed by volunteer physicians, nurses, and lay people, running the Clinic does require funding to buy medical supplies and equipment; pay for lab tests, x-rays, and other diagnostic tests; assist with urgently needed dental care; and pay for medicine for patients who can't afford it. Funds provided by the towns help us pay these bills. And we thank you!

The Free Clinic is a program of GBICS (Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services, Inc.) which also operates the Kitchen Cupboard, the Food & Fuel Fund, the Bennington Oral Health Coalition, and other programs. It is located at 121 Depot Street in Bennington.

Charlie Gingo, Chair

Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services, Inc. (GBICS)


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