Free Clinic standing in the gap during pandemic

Dr. Michael Hart is one of the volunteer physicians at the Christian Free Clinic.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, many people are losing their health coverage as they lose their jobs. The Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt is stepping up to fill in that coverage gap, offering telemedicine visits for new and existing patients. Using a smartphone, and similar to Skype or Facetime, this service is a safe and secure way to talk to a physician. While Internet access is necessary, this can be found using a Wi-Fi hotspot. Clinic Director Jenny Daniels said, “Patients without an available smartphone may even access the clinic phones for this purpose, all from the safety and security of their car.”

How does telemedicine work?  Patient and doctor can see and hear each other and discuss symptoms and treatments securely and privately, with the added advantages that the patient can stay home and the doctors can provide appointments at times outside the clinic’s usual Tuesday evening hours.

This also means that patients symptomatic for COVID-19 can be seen without fear of infecting others. Likewise, patients with chronic illnesses can be seen without fear of being infected with COVID-19. Any prescriptions needed as determined by the provider are available for pick-up at the pharmacy drive-through window at no cost to the patient.

While the Free Clinic has doctors able to prescribe treatment for respiratory symptoms, they want the public to know that testing for COVID-19 is NOT available. Dental care is still available on an emergency basis only.

If you are self-isolating, the clinic will be offering grocery delivery so that you may remain at home.

To set a telemedicine or dental appointment, or to request grocery delivery, contact the Christian Free Clinic at 540-353-0509.

The clinic is located at 330 Roanoke Road, Fincastle, at Fincastle Baptist Church.

Dr. Michael Hart is one of the volunteer physicians at the Christian Free Clinic.

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