COLUMBUS — December is Free Clinic Appreciation Month. The 2018 celebrations began Dec. 5 during the Free Clinic Appreciation Month Kick-Off event.
Free Clinic Appreciation Month (FCAM) serves as a time to honor free and charitable clinics and their volunteers across the state who provide medical care to the uninsured and under-insured. Volunteers donate their time, energy, and effort to ensure these clinics operate smoothly and provide the best care they can to underserved populations. This year, the distinction of 2018 Volunteer Physician of the Year belongs Dr. B. Mark Hess from Health Partners Free Clinic in Troy.
Dr. Hess has worked with Health Partners Free Clinic since its opening in 1998 where he played a key role in its inception. He has dedicated the last 20 years of his life in service to the mission of Health Partners, involved in everything from direct patient care to mentoring the many nursing, pharmacy, and medical students who also work with the clinic. Dr. Hess sees his involvement at the clinic as beyond voluntary and seeks only to provide access to free high quality healthcare for the uninsured and underserved patient population in Miami County.
Dr. Hess’ nomination was glowing with praise from his peers, who described the love his patients have for him and their sorrow at the thought of losing Dr. Hess as a provider after obtaining medical coverage. He is a pillar of support and endless knowledge and resources at Health Partners Free Clinic and his impact on the Troy community knows no bounds.
Among the other award recipients of Free Clinic Appreciation Awards are 2018 Volunteer Dentist of the Year Dr. Gus Komar and 2018 Volunteer Nurse of the Year Dr. Cheryl Cairns, CNP, both of Lake County Free Clinic in Painesville, and KidSmiles Pediatric Dental Clinic in Columbus was named at the 2018 Free Clinic of the Year.
“Free Clinic Appreciation Month gives us an opportunity to to recognize our volunteers and welcome members of our community into clinics across to state to see firsthand the progress being made,” said Deb Miller, executive director of the Charitable Healthcare Network (formerly the Ohio Association of Free Clinics), which organizes the kick-off event.
To learn more about Ohio Free Clinic Appreciation Month, contact Katie Kisseberth at the Charitable Healthcare Network at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those interested in Health Partners Free Clinic, visit them at www.healthpartnersclinic.org or call (937) 332-0894.