June 2017 Around Town 3

Bradley Free Clinic keeps the focus on patients

Since 1974, Bradley Free Clinic has met the needs of low-income, uninsured patients through a dedicated group of volunteer health care professionals that provide free medical, mental health, dental and pharmacy services in the Roanoke Valley.

Bradley Free Clinic is fueled by the energy of the quality health care providers, future health care professionals and lay workers that have provided countless hours of services to patients.

Absent the opportunity to access a medical home, low-income people often find themselves in a position where health problems spiral and they end up in the emergency room or hospital for problems that could have been addressed much earlier by a primary care provider. The advantage of a strong and capable free clinic is profound. The Bradley Free Clinic has become a medical home to over 2,000 patients providing 25,040 services to patients in 2016.

Along the way, the Bradley Free Clinic has discovered opportunities for the development of wellness programs and community outreach projects by partnering with critical safety net and health care agencies to better meet the changing needs of the patients and community.

The clinic is launching a women’s health program that will provide comprehensive preventive well-woman care and partnerships with TAP’s Domestic Violence Services, Sabrina’s Place, the Sexual Assault Response and Awareness, Inc. and Salvation Army’s Turning Point Domestic Violence Shelter to provide fast-track access to these services to women in crisis situations.

The clinic is providing better access to dental services through Access to Dental Days formerly the Mission of Mercy project, which is held three times a year through local dental providers throughout the valley. The clinic also is partnering with Virginia Cooperative Extension to introduce Balanced Living with Diabetes to a select group of patients who will learn more about the nutritional management of their disease and the lifestyle practices that will prevent or slow the development of diabetes complications.

The clinic is seeing its impact on the community expand as the organization has opened its doors to partnering agencies and volunteers with the Roanoke Valley HOPE Initiative to provide support and resources to those in the community suffering from substance abuse who are ready to seek services for treatment and recovery. This program also serves to educate the community at large on the severity of the opioid epidemic in the region.

Over the years, Bradley Free Clinic has grown in size, scope, vision and capacity. While the evolution of the clinic is evident, the core of why the Bradley Free Clinic exists remains. The dynamics of a strong, free clinic is an indispensable part of a healthy community—our community.