The 200-plus volunteers with Red Wing's CARE Clinic aren't in it for the accolades, but it's always nice to be recognized for a job well done.
Volunteers at the free community clinic received a peer-nominated certificate of recognition at the Minnesota Department of Health's 2017 Community Health Awards. Certificates are awarded to individuals and groups who make significant contributions to public health.
"The award given to the CARE Clinic speaks to all the people who volunteer their time there," said Dr. George Noesen, a Red Wing dentist and CARE Clinic's dental director. "The Red Wing community can be very proud of what the CARE Clinic has achieved since its beginning."
CARE Clinic members accepted the award at the annual Community Health Conference held Sept. 27-29 in Breezy Point.
The number of area doctors and other staff who volunteer with CARE Clinic speaks to the altruism of the community, said Dr. Ed Ward, who has provided primary care services at the clinic since it opened in 2010. He said CARE Clinic is an important resource for uninsured patients.
"There are medical needs that aren't being fulfilled by the standard medical community, because people can't afford it," he said.
CARE Clinic serves uninsured, low-income residents in Goodhue County and Lake City. Services include medical care, urgent dental care, mental health care and MNsure enrollment assistance.
The clinic also is working to grow its social services offerings, connecting patients with local, state and federal resources, said Michaela Read, the clinic's development director and MNsure coordinator. This includes partnering with volunteer attorneys for legal aid.
"There's a lot of research that unmet legal needs can affect a low-income patient's physical and mental well being," Read said.
CARE Clinic is open 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the Professional and Community Center, 1407 W. 4th St. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and eligibility requirements, visit www.careclinicrw.com.