Updated: 20 hours ago

Thanks to Idaho Gives supporters, more Idahoans in need will access primary care, mental health, and dental services. Ninety-six individuals donated $12,165 to Idaho free clinics during the 2022 annual event. Some of those dollars stretched further with matches from generous free clinic volunteers and supporting organizations.

Every dollar donated went directly to free clinic operations due to generous event sponsors, including Idaho Central Credit Union, George and Bev Harad, Idaho National Laboratory, AJ and Susie Balukoff, Boise Cascade, Simplot, KTVB7, and Cambia Health Foundation.

Care House Clinic, located in Nampa, was one of the six free clinics participating this year. Care House Clinic provides medical, dental, and counseling services for those who do not have health insurance and live at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. Pastor Tony Johnson told IAFCC about a patient who recently received services in Care House's newly opened dental clinic:

A Spanish-speaking mother brought her young adult daughter and her elementary-aged daughter to the Care House Clinic for dental services. Because of their financial situation, they had never been able to access dental care. After the initial exams, the provider detailed what treatments would be necessary.

The mother worriedly asked, "How much will all this cost us?"

When Leticia, the translator, told her it wouldn't cost her anything, the mother asked

again, "How much is this going to cost?"

Leticia answered once more, "Nothing. It is free."

The mother got teary-eyed as she said, "Thank you! Thank you! You are a blessing from God."

Care House Clinic is one of eleven Idaho free clinics utilizing a volunteer/staff model to provide health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. In 2021, free clinics provided 18,173 patient visits for almost 5,000 Idahoans.

Mindy Hong, Executive Director of the Idaho Association of Free Clinics, said, "Investing in the free clinic service model is a smart financial move. For every dollar donated, Idaho free clinics provide three to five dollars in services that improve the quality of life for our neighbors."

Idaho Gives is the annual donation drive for nonprofits in the Gem State. Individuals, businesses, and foundations are encouraged to celebrate the good works of Idaho's charitable network—and open their wallets. Idaho Gives raised nearly $4 million in 2021. Every dollar goes directly to services at a donor's chosen nonprofit. More than 600 nonprofits from across the state are participating in 2022.

This Idaho Gives, consider investing in Idaho's greatest asset—people. Almost 5,000 Idahoans depend on free clinics for primary care and dental services. Many more Idahoans go without healthcare or use services and accumulate medical debt. When people lose access to healthcare, chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and depression can lead to a medical emergency. Our free clinics need your help to serve existing patients and extend care to more individuals in need.

Support one of our participating member clinics to ensure that all Idahoans have access to lifesaving care and medications:

Heidi Burford-Bell loves to say 'yes' to people who need access to healthcare. This week, Heidi celebrates her second anniversary as the Clinic Director of Snake River Community Clinic (SRCC).

SRCC is a nonprofit free clinic serving the Lewis-Clark Valley and outlying areas. Staff and volunteers at SRCC help patients achieve whole-body health through primary care, dental care, and mental health services. Heidi said, "I wish more people knew that free clinics are for everybody — people in need of care and people willing to donate care."

Heidi was a medical assistant and patient care technician for almost twenty years previously. She also has a bachelor's degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Environmental Health. Her skills helped SRCC undergo several transformations over the past two years. Heidi led her team in securing new grant funding and a paper to EHR transition. Heidi is proud of SRCC's teamwork and its positive impacts on the community.

Heidi claimed she became the Director of SRCC accidentally. She then clarified, "It's not an accident that I ended up here, actually! I use so much of my education and life experience in my work. I feel so honored to be able to serve my community in such a meaningful way."

Heidi is passionate about art, nature, family, and good coffee in her free time.

Visit the Snake River Community Clinic website for more information about their organization and services.