The Marie Blanchard Friendship Clinic (MBFC) has been quietly saving lives and restoring health to Idahoans for 18 years by offering no-cost services to community members in need. MBFC offers eligible patients primary care services, physical therapy, counseling, nutrition guidance, and more. Idahoans who have low incomes and lack health insurance qualify for these services.
We recently reached out to MBFC's core staff members, Yvonna Rowett and Betsy Bowen, with a few questions:
Who are you and what do you like to do?
Yvonna: I am the Office Administrator/Interim ED for MBFC. I enjoy golf, hiking, and biking in this beautiful city.
Betsy: Clinical Nurse Manager, BSN, recently retired from SARMC. I volunteered at the MBFC for 14 years before becoming the clinical manager. I love to read and spend time with my family.
What is a professional accomplishment you are proud of?
Yvonna: I served as a Guardian ad Litem for the State when we first moved to Boise. It was so rewarding to give a voice to children subjected to abuse, abandonment, and neglect.
Betsy: While practicing as a certified psychiatric nurse with SARMC for over 16 years, I was asked to share my knowledge with the Foundation of Nursing. I continue to do so.
Why do you choose to work in the free clinic sector?
Yvonna: I fell into it when helping our founder and my good friend, Marie Blanchard. I started as a volunteer and ended up as a part-time employee. That was 18 years ago!
Betsy: Marie Blanchard was looking for volunteer nurses. I signed up immediately, knowing the great need for volunteers in this sector of the population.
What do you wish people knew about free clinics or your patients?
Yvonna & Betsy: How much we are needed and how grateful our patients are for their care. Some patients have only needed a little assistance, others more, but most want to be in good health and a productive part of their community. We are so grateful for the medical professionals that give their time and talents to our community.
What would you do with it if you got $5 million for your clinic?
Yvonna & Betsy: Expand mental health, add dental services, and move to a larger facility. It would also be nice to collaborate with smaller clinics similar to a co-op of services to meet all the needs of the underinsured and uninsured. It would be a one-stop for all services and a helping hand for smaller service providers.
What is the most significant challenge or opportunity for free clinics right now?
Yvonna & Betsy: Reaching those in need that have no idea free medical services are available.
For more information about MBFC, visit their website.