House Approves $150,000 to Help Establish Health Care Clinic in Ferndale

Dec 11, 2009

(Washington D.C.)- The House of Representatives passed the Consolidated Appropriations bill yesterday by a vote of 221 to 202.  The measure, which combines 6 of the 12 annual funding bills, includes $150,000 to renovate a building and purchase equipment for the FernCare Free Clinic, a health clinic to be located on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. 

“The health care reform legislation under consideration in Congress aims to ensure that every American has access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance.  But until the legislation is passed into law and goes into effect, there will be people without insurance, or without adequate insurance, to cover the medical care they need,” said Rep. Levin.  “The FernCare Free Clinic will provide a place for people to receive crucial health care services.  I look forward to the opening of the facility and all the good work that FernCare and its volunteers will do.”

“This is such welcome news!  We are in an area with very few medical care resources for people without insurance or who are under insured.  We can’t open soon enough,” said Ann Heler, President of the FernCare Board.  “We have great support from Ferndale and surrounding communities and this very tangible show of support from Washington just emphasizes the ‘community can do’ spirit we have felt as we moved this project along.”

The FernCare Free Clinic is scheduled to open in March of next year and will provide non-emergency medical and mental health care, generic medication distribution, community resources referral, and limited dental health services.  The clinic will focus on providing care to those who are uninsured and not served by other facilities or programs, targeting those made most vulnerable by the current economic downturn.  The clinic will be staffed by licensed medical professionals and has received donated services, equipment, and medical supplies from the business and philanthropic community.  The funding requested by Rep. Levin will be used to renovate a facility on Nine Mile Road for the clinic and purchase equipment.

The lack of affordable medical care for people without insurance is what led a group of Ferndale residents to organize and begin creating a free medical clinic. The group is now its own nonprofit organization with monthly free health forums, a medication/medical equipment re-cycle program and a website that continually updates health resources.