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Healthy Communities/Healthy America

Free clinic grants helping the uninsured

Dr. Guerrera and nurse Jean-Ann volunteer to give diabetes care to patients at the Volunteers in Medicine Southern Nevada clinic, funded by a Healthy Communities/Healthy America grant.

In response to the growing health needs of the uninsured, hundreds of communities nationwide have developed free clinics. These non-profit clinics bring together physicians, health care professionals and other community volunteers to offer free or low cost health care to low-income, uninsured and under-insured people. Funding is generally raised on the local level and there is little if any government funding or support.

A recent AmeriCares survey found that 89 percent of the nation's free clinics reported a steady rise in patient visits within the past three years, and that increased demand and resource constraints have forced 56 percent of these clinics to turn away eligible patients.

Responding to this critical need, the AMA Foundation supports the efforts of physicians and other volunteers working at free clinics to provide quality, affordable health care. The program awards $10,000-$25,000 grants to physician-led free clinics. To date, we have awarded over $1.3 million to 61 free clinics across the country.

Read about the clinics that received funding in 2014 through this grant program.  

In their own words

David A. Ellington, MD

"Our free clinic was started in 1994 and has been functioning ever since rural western Virginia. We continue to struggle with trying to meet the ever increasing needs of our community.  The response of the physician community is a shining example of what our profession does on a volunteer basis for the segments of our population who fall through the health care cracks.  Thank you for all that you do for this effort.  Without the work that you and others do on our behalf, the work of all Free Clinics would be much difficult."

—David A. Ellington, MD
Medical Director and Board Member, Rockbridge Area Free Clinic, Lexington, VA
Donor to the AMA Foundation free clinic grant program

Edmond Cabbabe, MD

"Donating to support physician-led free clinics is our way of expressing gratitude to the great physicians who staff these clinics and provide compassionate care to the most vulnerable and needy patients."
—Edmond Cabbabe, MD

Grant amounts and timelines

In 2014, the AMA Foundation will award $10,000 grants to eight free clinics. Clinics will receive funding to implement the CDC's Diabetes Prevention Program over the course of two years.

This application deadline has passed. View the press release of this year's recipients.

Recipient information

List of 2013 recipients

List of 2012 recipients

List of 2011 recipients

List of 2010 recipients

List of 2008 recipients

List of 2007 recipients

Grant recipients must submit a final report form upon completion of their project. All forms should be sent to the AMA Foundation office.

Grant outcomes
Read about key results from these grant projects

Program Impact
This program facilitates sustainability and additional funding for recipients.  Fifty-four percent of free clinics state they were able to obtain grants and contributions from new funders as a direct result of having received a Healthy Communities/Healthy America grant.  An additional 12% report that the grant boosted their visibility in their communities and stimulated interest from other donors due to the AMA Foundation name.

Read specific stories:

In the news
Learn how our recipients are caring for those who have nowhere else to go:

In their own words

Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic

"This grant gave us the opportunity to move an entire community to open a free clinic. We have worked collaboratively with a whole new group of physicians and two other hospitals to make this happen. This is an entirely volunteer model, similar to our clinic."
—Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic, Doylestown, Pa.
2007 recipient

Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of Bartholomew County

"It has truly been a privilege for our clinic to have participated in the AMA Foundation's program. Your grant has facilitated our clinic's ability to implement the Chronic Care Model to improve the health of our patients with diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia."
—Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of Bartholomew County, Columbus, Ind.
2007 recipient

Open Door Health Center

"This grant gave us the opportunity to feel recognized and supported by our peers and created opportunities to expand our collaboration model and promotion beyond this small poor community...it reinforced our motto: 'Medicine for the poor does not have to be poor medicine.'"
—Open Door Health Center, Homestead, Fla.
2008 recipient

Volunteer opportunities

Free clinics always need both medical and non-medical volunteers. Find a free clinic in your area.

Related links
Donate now

"I have nothing but admiration for our fellow physicians who donate time and expertise to provide health care, receiving little or no reimbursement, for uninsured populations.  Having been out of clinical practice for several years, I feel that the financial support that I give is the least I can do to support these facilities.  They truly represent the best of medicine."
—Richert E. Quinn MD, Greeley, Colo.
Physician Risk Manager, COPIC Insurance Company
Member, AMA House of Delegates for over 20 years

The Healthy Communities/Healthy America program is one of the few national funding opportunities devoted solely to free clinics.  We could not offer these grants without generous support from organizations and individuals.  Help us continue our commitment to free clinics and physician volunteers by making a gift to Healthy Communities/Healthy America.

Donate now