News/Blog

Partner Spotlight: St. Vincent

“St. Vincent and the Trinity Free Clinic share a common mission: to deliver care to those who need it, regardless of personal means. That's why we have worked together for 15 years to treat the most vulnerable in our community,” said Dina Ferchmin, Executive Director, Trinity Free Clinic. “Not only is St. Vincent an important contributor to our work, but they also assist us daily in connecting patients with primary care and specialty resources which our patients would otherwise not be able to access or afford.  St. Vincent has helped us overcome numerous obstacles over the years to ensure that the uninsured and underinsured working poor of Hamilton County are cared for.  We are extremely grateful for their generous support.”

Hamilton County is among the nation’s most affluent and ranks first in Indiana in terms of average household income, yet pockets of poverty persist in the community. According to the United Way of Central Indiana, one in five Hamilton County families struggle to make ends meet.

St. Vincent's commitment to the working poor of Hamilton County cannot be better demonstrated than in their unfailing support of our patients.  St. Vincent is not only our largest grantor, but they also generously accept about 90% of our patient referrals.  In 2015 alone, we referred nearly 500 patients that required more care than we could offer at the clinic to St. Vincent.  St. Vincent Primary Care provided a place where our patients could receive the personal, individualized care they desperately needed at an affordable reduced rate.

In addition to their sustaining support for both Trinity Free Clinic and our patients, St. Vincent has supported the clinic in more targeted ways as well.  For example, the St. Vincent Carmel emergency room director, Steve Baunach, came in November of 2014 to train our staff about Ebola containment procedures so that we would be prepared in case we had a patient walk in with suspicious symptoms.

One of our most important functions for Hamilton County families is to provide a resource for the pediatric vaccinations that allow children to start school in the fall.  We are able to provide those vaccinations free of cost to low-income families through our participation in the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC).  One of the requirements for participating in VFC is that we must have an emergency back-up storage facility for our stock of vaccines.  St. Vincent Carmel Hospital's partnership makes that possible by allowing us to store our vaccines in their pharmacy facility in case of a power outage or failure of our vaccine refrigerator.

Fortunately, St. Vincent's care for the children of Hamilton County doesn't stop with vaccinations.  We were fortunate enough to have St. Vincent co-sponsor our Car Seat Clinic with Franciscan St. Francis Health, with St. Vincent funding car seats for 51 children.

As part of their ongoing commitment to women's health St. Vincent also provides quarterly mammogram screenings for our Women's Clinic patients with their mobile unit.  This is a vital service for our patients in the Women's Clinic because it provides a unique opportunity for them to receive breast cancer screening that would otherwise be out of reach for them financially.

Finally, St. Vincent has been the title sponsor of our spring fundraising gala for several years.  Fundraisers provide about 35% of the operating budget for the Trinity Free Clinic, and support of the Healing Hands Gala provides a real, tangible support for the services we provide for our patients every day.

“St. Vincent is dedicated to providing spiritually centered, holistic care that sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities, and we are proud to partner with Trinity Free Clinic to fulfill this mission in Hamilton County,” said Janette Helm, Director of Mission Integration, St. Vincent. “We applaud Trinity Free Clinic for its commitment to serving all persons, with special attention to those who are struggling.”

Truly, our mission could not be achieved without the generosity of St. Vincent--from financial support to the support of our patients through referrals.  The patients, volunteers, staff, and board of the Trinity Free Clinic are very grateful for St. Vincent's continued partnership and generosity.

About St.Vincent
St.Vincent is a nonprofit, spiritually-centered health system and a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and not-for-profit health system.  St.Vincent is one of Indiana’s largest employers with 22 health ministries serving 57 counties in Central and Southern Indiana.  The 133-year-old health system delivers high quality, compassionate care in service areas such as cardiovascular, womens, childrens, neurosciences, cancer care, orthopedics, bariatrics, primary care, emergency medicine, imaging, general surgery and long-term acute care.  For more information, visit www.stvincent.org.

About Ascension
Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers serve in 2,000 sites of care – including 137 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineerin, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

TFC Kicks off Brighter Smiles Campaign

At the Trinity Free Clinic, dental visits account for 40% of our total patient visits.  Since we are the only free dental clinic in Hamilton County, our dental services are an irreplaceable and vital resource to the uninsured and under-insured residents of Hamilton County.  What if we were suddenly unable to care for our patients?

That is the reality the clinic is facing regarding our panoramic x-ray machine.  Our current panoramic x-ray machine still works, but because of its age, parts are no longer available.  We're afraid that our old machine will stop working during one of our busy Saturday morning clinics, and we will not be able to provide care to our patients.

We can purchase a new Planmeca ProMax 2d machine for $50,000 or a used one for about $20,000.  Not only will this machine allow us to image patients for the next 5-10 years, but the images will be significantly better and expose our patients to dramatically less radiation than with our current technology.  To help us raise funds to purchase this vital piece of equipment, we are initiating the Brighter Smiles crowd sourcing campaign.  We are hoping to raise sufficient funds to cover the purchase of the new panoramic x-ray machine by October 17, 2015.  If you would like to learn more about the Brighter Smiles campaign or you would like to donate to help us give our patients "brighter smiles", please go to http://www.gofundme.com/TFCBrighterSmiles.