Meridian, Miss. Representatives of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation made a stop at the Meridian Free Clinic to award a check totaling $17,805 as part of the Family Medicine U.S.A. signature program.
“That program is designed to give grants to either new or existing free clinics throughout the country that prove tangible need for physical equipment to help them achieve their goals,” stated Dr. Brent Smith a Representative of The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
The Meridian Free Clinic is run solely on volunteers and much of the equipment in the clinic was donated from various entities and this grant that was received will be used to upgrade existing medical equipment and supplies to better provide for the uninsured adults in our community.
“This is a huge asset to have for us to have this money to provide the equipment that we need to take care of the patients,” stated volunteer physician at the Free Clinic Dr. J. Lee Valentine
With all the man power of the clinic provided by volunteers the AAFP also respects the importance of using the clinic as a training ground to teach our future physicians.
“They are also using this as a method to train other learners, so there is nurse practitioner students that come, there is family medicine and residents that come, and that is amazing opportunity to teach people to care for the population that needs it the most,” stated Dr. Smith.
Dr. Valentine understands the great importance in teaching our future medical community to serve in rural communities.
“Our job here I think is to train these residences to be comfortable and competent in practicing in small areas so that they feel comfortable going to these small rural areas that we need doctors in,” explained Dr. Valentine.