Hospitals play an important role in their communities as they help connect residents with the medical care they need. Collaboration can be integral when it comes to connecting residents to services, and in Renton, UW Medicine/Valley Medical Center teams up with Renton Rotary, the Renton Salvation Army and Renton Technical College to operate Renton RotaCare: a free clinic for families and individuals who are unable to obtain health insurance but are in need of non-emergent care.
The clinic is open every Saturday morning at the local Salvation Army Church and Community Center, and Valley Medical Center has supported it through volunteer staffing, providing free lab and imaging services, donating medical supplies, and providing financial support for free or low-cost prescriptions.
Since the clinic opened its doors almost 14 years ago, it has served more than 7,500 patients, many of whom would have ultimately needed to go to an ER as their ailments worsened. Many patients have chronic medical problems, such as diabetes. The clinic is one of three RotaCare clinics in King County, and part of a larger, national RotaCare effort.
“Witnessing the health disparities and lack of access for basic care for the uninsured residents of South King County, I approached the Renton Rotary with a proposal to start a RotaCare clinic in Renton, and in 2003 we began seeing our first patients,” says Dr. Bob Thompson, a Valley Medical Center physician, the clinic’s medical director and one of its founders.
Efforts to help those with limited access to health care services helps residents live healthier lives and benefits the entire health care system, ensuring that patients get the right care, at the right place, at the right time. Read more about Renton RotaCare. (Tim Pfarr)