Did you know that your local community college medical clinic may be an excellent source of free health care? In fact, USA Today reports that community area clinics helped nearly seven million uninsured patients in 2008! Considering that nearly 21 percent of the nation’s citizens are currently struggling to pay medical and prescription drug bills, community college clinics are playing a large role in helping to fill the financial void.
How Can Community Colleges Provide Free Services?
Free healthcare services at your local community college may seem too good to be true. After all, how can community colleges afford to provide free medical treatment? The answer lies in innovation. Through creative programs, community colleges leverage student support to create opportunities for free healthcare.
For example, students who are enrolled in dental programs, health care classes, and other medical fields are often required to participate in hands-on field practice. Community college clinics provide students in the medical fields with realistic training experiences – which translate into a mutually beneficial situation for both the students and community.
In these clinics, students often hold the responsibility of providing examination and health services to any incoming patients. These students, of course, are highly qualified in their area of study, and they are also required to be supervised by a certified and licensed professional. This translates into solid medical care for the community.
This video offers an overview of Norco Community College health services.
Free Health Services at Local Community Colleges
Many community colleges recognize the rising struggle to balance one’s budget with demanding health care costs. Subsequently, more schools are implementing free health services on campus.
For example, as KUTV explains, uninsured students attending Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) can obtain free healthcare services, especially in physical therapy. SLCC students who are majoring in physical and occupational therapy work in the clinics to gain their hands-on experience, while patients obtain free services.
Adding to the services of physical therapy, an array of schools provide students with free dental services, as such programs also often utilize the support of students in dental studies. For example, as United Concordia reveals, Harrisburg Area Community College, with many campus locations across the country, hosts a free dental and vision clinic for students and residents in the area. Dentists, hygienists, and other volunteers performed cleanings, check-ups, and other services. Adding to this, an expert ophthalmologist provided students with free eye screenings, while also giving free eyeglasses to students who were in need.
Furthermore, providing more general health care options, Anne Arundel Community College (AACC), located in Arnold, Maryland, provides students with a wide variety of free health services. Directed by nurses, AACC health services offer free support for students and college employees. Additionally, AACC also provides students with additional health amenities such as:
- Information on flu vaccinations
- Fitness center access
- Swimming pool access
- Tobacco prevention and cessation support
- Substance abuse education
This video offers an overview of North Carolina State University health services.
Reduced Cost Services at Local Community Colleges
While many fortunate schools offer free health services, still other schools seek to assist students by providing reduced-cost health care services. For example, Mount Hood Community College, located in Portland, Oregon, offers many different services at little to no costs for patients. By making an appointment at Mount Hood’s Dental Clinic, students and residents can enjoy teeth cleaning services, X-Rays, dental exams, and fluoride treatments. Students are only required to pay $35 for an appointment, while other residents only pay $40. Adding to these benefits, children and senior citizens only need to pay $30, and any additional appointments that are needed to complete services only require a $5 payment!
In economically difficult times, community colleges can provide free or low-cost healthcare services that our country certainly needs. Check with your local community college to take advantage of the free healthcare opportunities that are available to you.
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