Update from the CEO: St. Petersburg Free Clinic and COVID-19

Last week, members of the Free Clinic Board and staff had the opportunity to both present at and attend the virtual Equity Amid Crisis conference. Alongside partners from the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Juvenile Welfare Board, City of St. Petersburg, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay Rays/Rowdies and many more organizations and companies, we talked about how we can collectively address racial inequity and build a thriving community free from bias and discrimination.
Mar 17, 2020

3/17/2020 As the days pass, we continue to see more cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., in Florida and in our surrounding community. The St. Petersburg Free Clinic remains open and operational, helping our neighbors in need at this difficult time. We are thankful for the incredible dedication of our staff, volunteers and generous donors who are already responding to our need to be flexible and responsive in this unprecedented time.

Here’s how we are currently meeting needs, amid necessary shifts in our operational procedures:

Increasing purchase of bulk food for pennies on the dollar to ensure we have a consistent supply as families’ needs increase. We recognize that with children out of school and employees in various industries facing disruption to their work schedules and income, we must be prepared for increased demand.

As many of our volunteer medical professionals are being deployed to critical care units in hospitals and are unable to continue their work with us at this time, our Health Center is stepping up prescription refills to ensure clients have a 30- to 45-day supply and exploring telehealth consultation options to meet clients’ needs while onsite visits are being reduced.

Our Health Education classes will be held virtually, as opposed to live in our Health Education Center. We’re updating our curriculum for the weeks ahead to include more information and guidance on COVID-19, as well as courses that are particularly applicable at this time. For example, topics like “how to make a meal with what’s already in your pantry,” will be added to the schedule. Our cooking and wellness videos can be found on YouTube.

We are in touch with Pinellas County Schools, community partners, volunteers, and each of you about these shifts in programs and how we will continue to serve our clients under rapidly changing circumstances.

You can help ensure that we are able to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this critical time. Further, your support now can make sure that, when COVID-19 is contained but our clients continue to feel the longer-term effects of this crisis, we are prepared to meet their ongoing needs.

We will continue to provide updates as to our evolving response on our website. If you wish to help, please consider a donation to support our efforts.

We are deeply grateful for your commitment to our mission.

With gratitude,

Jennifer Yeagley
Chief Executive Officer

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