County’s Employers Depend on Trinity Free Clinic for Their Workers
By Mike Corbett
As Hamilton County’s population continues to grow and the cost of living here continues to rise, there’s a growing concern about housing for the workforce. How do we accommodate wage earners who need half their income or more just to pay for a place to live?
Less talked about, but just as pressing, is their need for health care. The high cost of health insurance puts it out of reach for lower paid workers, so health care is often not available through their employers.
Increasingly, employers and their workers are relying on the Trinity Free Clinic in Carmel. Founded 18 years ago, the clinic bills itself as Hamilton County’s medical and dental safety net. It provides primary health care for qualifying Hamilton County residents free of charge. Last year, it served more than 3600 low income residents, a 59% increase in just two years.
The clinic is run by nine paid professional staff and an army of 377 volunteer health care providers with a variety of backgrounds…everything from dental students to retirees, with both medical and non-medical skills. “One thing that all of our volunteers have in common is a servant’s heart,” says Executive Director Dina Ferchmin. “They come to work at Trinity in the evening after they have put in a hard day of work, or they will sacrifice their Saturday to care for our patients. I am most impressed by their dedication and love to those they serve.”
In order to qualify for services, workers must live in Hamilton County and meet specific income guidelines. The average patient comes from a family four and earns about $24,000 a year.