FLAGLER FREE CLINIC
CELEBRATES 16 YEARS

February marks the clinics completion of sixteen years serving the medical needs of our communitys uninsured residents. The clinic was established in February 2005, in 2020 we were able to provide over two million dollars worth of free care for our patients. This would not be possible without the assistance of many. In recognition of this milestone, we are going to spend the month of February celebrating the people, businesses, and donors that have helped keep our mission going through the years.

 
POSTED  DESCRIPTION
 
TIME
FEB 02  
DR DON ALFONSO

Today we celebrate Dr. Don Alfonso. Dr. Don was a co-founder of the Flagler Free Clinic and has been an active volunteer since its inception. Dr. Don is known for his kind and caring personality.


 
1:33
FEB 03  
GEORGIA CANAKARIS

Dr. John Canakaris and Faith Coleman ARNP were co-founders of the free clinic along with Dr. Don. Mrs. Georgia Canakaris explains how the clinic got started. Georgia served on the board of the clinic for many years after her husband's death in 2012. Faith Coleman passed away in late 2014. Their vision is kept alive in the clinic still today.


 
0:47
FEB 04  
MICHAELYN MILIDANTRI

Michaelyn is not only a great volunteer, but she is also the treasurer on the clinics board of directors. Michaelyn sets a beautiful example of using your life to help others and we always learn from the example that she sets.


 
0:31
FEB 05  
HAZEL DEVEAUX

Hazel does not believe in lots of fanfare and recognition, but if anyone deserves recognition it is her. Hazel not only volunteers at the clinic every week but she is active in many other non-profit activities. A wonderful citizen of our community.


 
1:22
FEB 06  
BISH MAHADEO-APLUS PHARMACY

Bish and A Plus Pharmacy is one of the clinics outstanding community partners. He is always available to help find ways for patients to get the medication that they need. He is one of the most pleasant people you will ever meet!


 
1:10
FEB 07  
BUNNELL PHARMACY

The team at the Bunnell Pharmacy has been assisting the free clinic since its inception. They help with medication and other medical supplies that our patients need. They are also great neighbors. Every interaction with this team is happy!


 
1:43

 

This week (FEB-08) we are going to introduce our Facebook followers to the volunteers who each day contribute to the fulfillment of our mission. Each day requires multiple volunteers to provide medical visits, to register new patients, to take care of patient requests for prescription refills, and to take care of of the other needs that all businesses have like accounting, fund-raising, records upkeep to name just a few!


 
POSTED  DESCRIPTION
 
TIME
FEB 08  
MONDAY VOLUNTEERS

The Monday team is made up of Dr. Jane Walter, Podiatry, Paul Bond APRN, Patricia Thomasy RN, and the administrative team of Carol Bok, Pat Prill, Vanessa Gonsalves. This team works so well together and they all make Monday a great day!


 
 
FEB 09  
TUESDAY VOLUNTEERS

This is our Tuesday team. This group has been working together for several years and they ensure that Tuesdays always run smoothly and efficiently. Dr. Gauri is a retired anesthesiologist but provides acupuncture services for our patients who struggle with many painful conditions. Nurse Valerie and George meets with all new patients to get a full medical history so that the patient can be assigned to a volunteer provider who will meet their specific needs. Violet provides accounting services, sends out our thank you letters to donors, and keeps track of all our volunteer hours. Kathy and Vanessa register new patients among many other tasks. There are many years of incredible work experience that this group brings in service to the free clinic.


 
 
FEB 09  
VANESSA GONSALVES

The free clinic has long been an organization that supports students who are interested in entering the medical profession in many different capacities. From student nurses, individuals who have finished medical school and are waiting for residency programs, CNAs, Medical Assistants, and nurse practitioners, we welcome the opportunity to influence their future. Vanessa is the latest student to join the free clinic team. She is a pleasure to work with and is always has a positive and happy attitude.


 
0:59
FEB 10  
WEDNESDAY VOLUNTEERS

Wednesday is one of the busiest days of the week at the clinic. These wonderful volunteers are at the clinic every Wednesday. Michaelyn meets with patients to prepare the required paperwork and documentation that is required for labs, imaging, and other diagnostic tests. Pat, Barbara, and Kathy register new patients and prepare legal documents for patient appointments for the next week. Of course, Vanessa, who is so enthusiastic in her preparation for a career in healthcare, helps in many different tasks. This group not only assists patients but makes sure that the clinic is ready for the upcoming weeks appointments. What a wonderful group of clinic volunteers.
Stay tuned for an introduction to our first and third Wednesday clinical team.


 
 
FEB 11  
THURSDAY VOLUNTEERS

You might notice that five of the six folks in this picture are familiar from another day this week. That is because many of our team members volunteer more than once a week. George, Kathy, and Violet come in on Tuesday and Thursday. Valerie is here Monday-Thursday and Saturday. Laurie is our volunteer pharmacist, she keeps the free clinic medication room stocked with sample medication for our patients, makes sure that accurate and precise records are kept, and maintains our medication inventory.
We could not continue to maintain the important services that the free clinic provides without these exemplary citizens of our community.


 
 
FEB 12  
HAZEL DEVEAUX AND SUE OSMOND

Hazel and Sue are both registered nurses with many years of nursing experience. On Friday they sort through donations of supplies and medications. They then add the supplies that the clinic can use to our exam rooms, call patients that they know need something that we have received, and pack up and distribute donations that the clinic cannot use to churches and mission workers. This is a labor intense job, but they see it through with a smile on their face and a happy attitude. We love these ladies!


 
 
FEB 13  
THE SATURDAY GROUPS

Patients are seen at the clinic three Saturdays each month, but we have a slightly different team each Saturday. Marge runs the front desk every Saturday, checking patients in and out, scheduling appointments, and taking care of many other “pop-up” issues. Sophia is our newest student volunteer and shadows the nurses as they prepare the patients. Dr Don Alfonso works on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the Month along with Josiah and Adrian. Dr. Iheme sees patients on the second Saturday of each month. Valerie and Patricia provide nursing support for the providers. You will recognize Pat as a member of the Monday team as well. Dr Mark Kennedy provides Eye care and works with Dr Don on 1st Saturdays of the month. These are dynamic and efficient groups, and they keep their respective Saturdays running like a finely tuned machines.
TOP: Marge, Sophia, Dr Don, Valerie, Dr Mark, Josiah, Adrian
BOTTOM: Dr Iheme, Patricia


 
 
FEB 14  
PATIENT TESTIMONIALS

These are unsolicited testimonials from a random 3 of our patients who wanted to share their experience with us, and who spoke from the bottom of their hearts! We truly appreciate them and we are grateful for their kind words! DEBORAH, DAWN, PATRICIA AND FRANK - We thank you!


 
2:36

 

This week (FEB-15) we want to spotlight so of the amazing groups that provide monetary donations to the free clinic. The Flagler Free Clinic does not receive any reimbursement for the services that we provide, we depend on private-sector donations, grants, and fund-raising events. We are a business that has operating expenses like all businesses, rent, utilities, office supplies all must be paid, and the awesome support of our Flagler County community makes it possible for us to continue the important work of the clinic.


 
POSTED  DESCRIPTION
 
TIME
FEB 15  
JACK LECKIE - HAMMOCK DUNES CARES

Today we recognize Hammock Dunes Cares. Hammock Dunes Cares is a non-profit organization created by the residents of Hammock Dunes. The president of their board is Mr. Jack Leckie who advocates for the clinic in so many ways. Jack introduced the clinics mission to the Hammock Dunes group, recruits volunteers for the clinic, and was a guiding force behind the new Community Garden project. Thank you, Jack, for your support and most importantly for your example of altruism and generosity.


 
0:44
FEB 16  
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

We are interrupting our normally scheduled anniversary month posts for an important message.
 
President Biden has announced a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, the special enrollment period is from Monday February 15 through Saturday May 15, 2021. Anyone who is currently uninsured or would like to make a change to their current plan can enroll for medical coverage at healthcare.gov. We learned today that three out of four people who apply have a monthly premium of $50.00, and nine out ten people enrolled get financial assistance with their insurance premium. We love all our patients, but our goal is to assist our patients in securing healthcare insurance coverage whenever possible. This is a great opportunity, so please if you are currently uninsured check out the information below.
 
The Free Clinic will be sending this information to all our patients via our electronic medical record system and we will be aiding those who do not have online access or need additional help. Stay tuned for more details.
http://healthcare.gov


 
 
FEB 17  
NANCY SWINDERMAN - HAMMOCK THRIFT SHOP

Nancy Swinderman is owner of the Hammock Thrift Shop, located on A1A across from publix. She has been donating to the Flagler Free Clinic for the last few years and we deeply appreciate her ongoing support for us!


 
1:09
FEB 18  
DR SHINOO WAINGANKAR

Dr Shinoo Waingankar, a retired Orthopedic Surgeon, has been a volunteer at the Flagler Free Clinic since 2016. He is also a member of our Board Of Directors and a proud donor to our clinic! His wife Dr Gauri also volunteers and provides Acupuncture treatments to our patients as well! We are so grateful for the services they provide to our patients and to our Flagler Clinic Family!


 
0:57
FEB 19  
DR JOHN CANAKARIS - FAITH COLEMAN

Sixteen years ago, today, February 19, 2005, the Flagler County Free Clinic held their first clinic for uninsured citizens of Flagler County. Today we celebrate and honor the clinics co-founders, Dr. John Canakaris and Faith Coleman ARNP.
 
Dr. John Canakaris was the first physician to open a medical office in the county. Dr. John also built Flagler Countys first two hospitals. He was known to be a generous man who took care of everyone, including patients with no ability to pay. We are so proud that the clinic today operates out of his old office.
 
Faith Coleman was a nurse practitioner who through a medical challenge that she endured realized a problem that she knew many faced. As soon as she overcame her medical problem, she went to work to establish the Flagler County Free Clinic. She contacted Dr. John and asked if he would assist, of course he agreed, and the rest is history.
 
We keep Dr. John and Faiths vision alive in every decision that we make in the expansion and operation of the clinic today. We believe that they would be immensely proud of the growth of the clinic and the care that our dynamic team provides. We should all try to use our life in some small or large way to help others and be fortunate to leave a legacy like Dr. John and Faith.


 
 
FEB 20  CANAKARIS - COLEMAN AWARDS  

The Flagler Free Clinic celebrates “National Volunteer Appreciation Month” every April. In 2018 our administrative team wanted to find a way to continue to honor and remember the dedication and work that Dr. John and Faith exhibited in their life. We created the Canakaris-Coleman Dedication to Volunteerism Award to acknowledge two clinic volunteers each year (one administrative and one clinical volunteer). Today we honor the award recipients.
 
In 2018 Dr. Don Alfonso and Michaelyn Miladantri received this honor. Dr. Don was a co-founder of the clinic and still volunteers at the clinic and is a board member. Michaelyn has been a volunteer for fifteen years and when Faith became ill again, she stepped in and managed the Saturday clinics. Michaelyn also serves as treasurer on our board.
 
In 2019 Hazel Deveaux RN and Carol Bok were the recipients of this award. Carol started at the clinic in 2008 and volunteers two days each week, and anytime we need an extra hand. She works registering new patients and about a hundred other administrative tasks. Hazel started in 2005 as a volunteer nurse. She now manages the clinics donation closet ensuring that every material donation we receive gets to people who are in need. All four of these volunteers not only give tirelessly to the clinic but they are also community ambassadors who communicate the work of the clinic to others. They all also set such a good example in attitude and generosity for all that they meet.
 
Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2020 Canakaris-Coleman Award recipients!


 
FEB 21  
CHURCH DONATIONS

Many non-profit organizations have seen a significant decline in donations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The inability to hold the clinics traditional fund-raising events for the last year could have created a situation that would have made it necessary to decrease our operating hours to cut costs. But we reached out to our donors and our community and because of their generosity the clinic was able to continue business as usual.
 

Among the groups, clubs, and organizations that support the clinic every year are many local churches. We want to publicly thank the following churches for the support that they have provided the Flagler Free Clinic; Christ Lutheran Church, Flagler Beach United Methodist, Palm Coast United Methodist, Palm Coast Seventh Day Adventist, Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana De Palm Coast, Saint Thomas Episcopal, First United Methodist Bunnell, Saint Marks by The Sea Lutheran, Trinity Presbyterian, and Parkview Baptist.


 
 
FEB 22  TELE-HEALTH

The clinic has remained open for patient care during the pandemic, however three of our providers were not comfortable with in-person patient encounters. So, they embraced tele-health. Dr. Lance Chodosh, primary care, has been a clinic volunteer for five years. Dr. Mulki Bhat, neurology, joined the clinic team in 2016. Phyllis Wolff, APRN diabetic specialist has been seeing the clinics diabetic patients for three years.
 
We thank them for their unwavering service and honor each of them for their dedication to patient care.


 
FEB 23   SPECIALISTS

Yesterdays post highlighted our providers who see patients via tele-health, two of the three are specialist (Dr. Bhat, neurology and Phyllis Wolff, diabetic specialist). In an earlier post we introduced Dr. S Waingankar, Orthopedic, Dr. G Waingankar, Acupuncture, Dr. Walter, podiatry, and Dr. Kennedy, Eye Care.
 
Today we are introducing our other volunteer specialist; Dr. Kurian, cardiology, Dr. Sai and Dr. Sierra, oncology, Dr. Pourkesali. We are so fortunate to have these fantastic specialists for our patients. If not for these special people many of our patients would not have access to needed specialty care.


 
FEB 24   ADVENT HEALTH

Advent Health has assisted the free clinic as a community partner for many years. In 2015, after the decision was made to greatly expand the clinics services, they began providing free labs and imaging for our patients. This has had a dramatic impact on the level of care and scope of service that we are able to provide. The value of these free services exceeds $700,000.00 each year!
 
In November of 2019, a group of hospital staff members helped us give a nice facelift to the clinic suite by joining our staff to paint. The paint was donated by our local Habitat for Humanity.

The Flagler Free Clinic is so grateful for the assistance that our local hospital provides, they have been an important part of our ability to provide a higher level of care.


 
 
FEB 25  
PHYLLIS VANREETH - COMMUNITY CARES NETWORK

Phyllis has been a great supporter of the free clinic both in patient care and volunteering at all the clinics fund-raising events. She is fun, sassy, hardworking, and a talented registered nurse.
Phyllis works for our local hospital as a nurse for the Community Cares Network program. We are proud that she trusts us with the care of all her uninsured patients.


1:25
FEB 26  
PEGGY HENGEVELD - VOLUNTEER AND BOARD PRESIDENT

Its awfully hard to articulate how important this beautiful lady is to the free clinic. Peggy has so many talents and skills! First and foremost, she is humble and the ultimate team captain. She retired as a full Colonel from the United States Army, Department of Defense, and has more experiences than there is room to print here.
 

Peggy became a volunteer nurse at the clinic in 2015, joined the clinics board of directors in 2017, and became our board president in 2018 and is still serving as our board president.
 
Peggy is a “can do” person, she never lets a challenge get the better of her. Peggy led the team of staff and volunteers that took our patients charts from file folders to binders with tabs, and then to our current electronic medical records program. This process did as much to improve the quality of care that the clinic provides as any of our other expansion work.
 
She is smart, kind, strong, funny, supportive, and honest. Peggy has more to do with the success of the Flagler Free Clinic than she will ever admit. She is respected and loved by the entire team.


FEB 27  
THE STAFF

This is the group that keeps the wheels turning at the clinic. We could never provide the services that we do without every one of our fantastic volunteers, but you need a team who will make sure that we are organized, and that we dot our Is and cross our Ts.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT
Steve directs our information technology department, making sure that all our computers and printers are working, along with developing programs to assist the efficiency of the clinic. He is also exceptionally creative and has produced and directed volunteer appreciation movies, public service videos, and training modules.
Abbin is a registered nurse and our clinical director, he works with the volunteer clinical staff to ensure that we are providing the highest quality of care.
Rosario manages the front desk and patient services, along with organizing all our fund-development events.
Terri is the clinic director and makes sure that all the pieces of the puzzle come together.
 
Without this phenomenal team of professionals, the clinic would not be able to provide the continuity of care that we provide for our patients and continue to expand our services.


 
FEB 28  
THE GRAND FINALE WAVE!

We hope that our Facebook followers have enjoyed getting to know the clinic volunteers, community partners, donors, and staff during our February anniversary celebration. We look forward to getting back to some of our community events later this year including our holiday open house. In the meantime, please spread the word about the important work that the Flagler Free Clinic continues to provide to the uninsured members of our community.

3:30

We welcome new volunteers, new community partners, and new donors; and we sincerely thank
all the folks that make the free clinic the great non-profit organization that it is.
The following video is a creation of our IT guy Steve, he wrote and sings the Clinic song,
and gives us one last look at all the volunteers that make the magic happen.


MAR 01   THE SUMMARY!10:50

For the last 28 days we have been posting pictures and videos to commemorate the 16 year anniversary of the Flagler Free Clinic. We truly appreciate all the "LIKES" and "LOVES" you have given us throughout the month! And so here is the icing on the cake for this event, a summary collection of all the postings boiled down to 11 minutes...
It has been a blast putting together these messages both heartfelt and humorous, and we hope you will find this video to be a wonderful momento of this past month!
Thank you all!

 
MAR 14   BOB THE ELECTRICIAN

As we all know the free clinic depends on volunteer power to provide care to our patients, but we also depend on volunteer power to take care of many, many tasks to keep our clinic facility operational. Things like janitorial service, plumbing issues, painting upkeep, and numerous other housekeeping chores could cost the clinic thousands of dollars each year but thanks to many community volunteers these chores are completed at incredibly low cost to the clinic.

This is Bob the clinics volunteer electrician. Bob has spent about twenty hours at the clinic over the last two weeks to replace old fluorescent lighting and upgrade to LED lights. The difference is amazing! Thank you, Bob, we appreciate you and all that you have done to assist the Flagler Free Clinic.

If you have a skill or interest that you would like to share with the clinic, please contact our director at 386-437-3091. It takes a village to run the clinic and we have a very amazing village!