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AmeriCares Unveils Free Stamford Mobile Clinic

Stella Smith, David Smith, Mayor David Martin, Gov. Dannel Malloy, CEO Curt Welling and Karen Gottlieb
Stella Smith, David Smith, Mayor David Martin, Gov. Dannel Malloy, CEO Curt Welling and Karen Gottlieb
Stamford-based AmeriCares, the nonprofit disaster relief organization, celebrated the newest addition to it's free clinics Thursday with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new rolling doctor's office, the company's first mobile clinic.

Stamford Mayor David Martin and Gov. Dannel Malloy joined AmeriCares President and CEO Curt Welling and Free Clinics Executive Director Karen Gottlieb, Quest Diagnostics New England Sales Project Manager Stella Smith, Stamford Hospital Senior Vice President of Strategy and Network Development David Smith and a number of AmeriCares' employees for the unveiling event.

“We are proud to offer quality health care that will keep the uninsured healthy and prevent costly, avoidable hospitalizations,” Gottlieb said. “It is really a community effort–volunteers, donors and community partners coming together to care for our neighbors in need.”

The clinic, a 40-foot bus with two exam rooms, will be providing free medical aid to the uninsured in the Stamford and Darien area, joining Bridgeport, Norwalk and Danbury, which cumulatively serve about 3,000 uninsured patients annually. It is the first free clinic in a city where one of every five residents is uninsured and the local hospital has one of the highest rates of uncompensated care in the state.

"Thank you for all your hard work you've done in our state, in our nation and throughout the world," Malloy said. "Thank you for what was a great idea and has grown into a great foundation doing so much around the world."

Since 1994, AmeriCares has provided 22,000 patients with $50 million in healthcare services. For the new unit, 1,200 patient visits and $900,000 in free health care are expected to be administered in the first year of operation at no cost to visitors.

"It's a pleasure to be here at this celebration and, yes, we must celebrate AmeriCares," Martin said. "It is people like AmeriCares that helps not only the individual, but it helps the larger part of our civilization providing health and healthcare for everyone. You should be proud. If you are not already, you should definitely be proud."

X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and lab work are provided free-of-charge by Stamford Hospital and Quest Diagnostics. Making trips out into the community three times a week, the clinic will be making trips to places like Neighbors Link on Selleck Street, New Covenant House of Hospitality soup kitchen on Fairfield Avenue and Domus on Lockwoood Avenue.

Thanks to private funding from a number of donors, 100-percent of the first year's operating costs are expected to be covered. To date, $2 million of the $2.5 million, five-year fundraising goal has been met.

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