MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Everyone needs to see a doctor, once in a while, and Tammy Chadbourne is no different.
She’s a self-employed decorative painter who moved from Florida with her husband, but the economic downturn forced some tough decisions. And Health insurance premiums ended up near the bottom of the list.
“Well appointments can be really expensive when you have to go with, out of pocket, we decide we would let them know we didn’t have insurance anymore but we really needed it, my husband had a blood pressure issue and I didn’t at the time but I do now," Chadbourne said.
That’s when a physician told them about Mooresville HealthReach Community Clinic, where they could see a doctor at no cost.
It's all about the prevention, it's about good health," Chadbourne said. "I have been coming here for several years."
She appreciates the treatment for any ailments, but she says doctors also stress the “preventative health” side of things.
“HealthReach Community clinic is the only free medical clinic in all of Iredell county," Sabrina Niggel, executive director of Health Reach Community Clinic. said.
They provide free medical care, free medications, free labs, and free mental health care for individuals with limited means and no health insurance. A patient must meet a few qualifications.
“One is that you reside in Iredell county, two is that you earn less the 300% of the federal poverty level and three is that you have no health insurance," Niggel said. "As long as you meet those qualifications you can receive treatment for 1 full year at HealthReach."
How can they do this? Through a combination of generous donors and volunteers.
"We do have a number of retired physicians and nurses, people that have worked hard all their life and have retired but wanna give back to they get bored and wanna give back to something that is meaningful," Niggel said.
The goal? Making sure people don’t have to choose between their health… and their rent payments.
“I was able to pay my bills and know that my husband and I are getting good health care, at one point my son and brother came here to, the transition up to NC and they didn’t have insurance as well," Chadbourne said.
“The goal is to make sure everybody has access to high-quality health care regardless if they have the money to pay regardless of their insurance status,” Niggel said.