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Columns

From the Editor's Desk: Tri City Health Partnership in St. Charles offers services for those that fall into gap

Free clinic in St. Charles exceeds expectation

Kane County Magazine

Not too long ago, I was introducing myself to the community, but now I’ve had the joy of an introduction to the Tri City Health Partnership.

The Tri City Health Partnership, for those not in the know, tries to help those who fall through the cracks in the health care system, specifically those without health insurance who make too much money to receive federal assistance with insurance but make too little to pay for it themselves. Did I mention the clinic does it all for free as well?

I recently spoke with Executive Director Kim Lamansky about the organization at the building at 318 Walnut St., St. Charles. She gave me the nickel-and-dime tour, guiding me through the free medical clinic, which used to be a house. Even though it didn’t start as a medical office, the building has everything necessary for dental exams, stitches, mammograms and eye exams. That’s not just thanks to the dentistry and medical equipment present in the building, but also because of the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who volunteer their time for free. Which in 2017 amounted to 1,485 volunteer hours treating 1,858 patients in on-site visits.

The program even goes one step further by helping provide medications and eyeglasses to those that need them. Labs and X-rays are even offered free of cost through generous support from Northwestern Medicine. Lamansky mentioned several times throughout our conversation that Northwestern is “a huge supporter.” Sometimes, no amount of kind words is enough.

Even if you know about Tri City Healthcare Partnership, maybe I can tell you something new. The free clinic is going to soon start offering trips to the clinic via ride-sharing for those who wouldn’t be able to make it to the clinic on their own. Which is important because Lamansky said patients often walk from Batavia to make it to their appointments. Northwestern Medicine, which is footing the bill for this service, was able to put Tri City in touch with Kaizen Health, a web-based logistics hub.

So how it works is like this: As patients schedule appointments with Tri City, they can identify if they need transportation help. Their information will be added and a Lyft driver or a taxi will arrive to bring them to the clinic after receiving a robocall reminder (one of the few kinds of acceptable robocalls) from Kaizen the day of the appointment. After the appointment, a driver will be able to take the patient home as well.

Now that you’ve heard the basics about the clinic, I’m sure you’re just as impressed as I was when I learned about it. For information about the nonprofit organization, visit its website at tchpfreeclinic.org or call 630-377-9277.

Zachary Van Vuren is weeklies editor for the Kane County Chronicle, Elburn Herald, Sugar Grove Herald, Kendall County Record and Suburban Life Media. Contact him at zvanvuren@shawmedia.com or 630-845-5368.

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