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The People's Community Clinic helps uninsured in Austin

Photo: People's Community Clinic signMost doctors office require patients to present some kind of insurance card for care. But the People's Community Clinic was set up to help the uninsured.

"One of the things that makes the People's Community Clinic so special is that we are a full service clinic," said Regina Rogoff of the People's Community Clinic. "This is not a free clinic it's a community clinic."

Photo: Dr. DoggettThe clinic offers everything from pediatrics and a pharmacy to geriatrics to meet its clients health care needs. More than 11,000 people are part of the community that have a relationship with the clinic.

The health care center is well known in the community that it serves.

"I'm not sure that we're as well known by people who don't use our services," says Rogoff. "Of course that is one of our biggest challenges -- to let the rest of the community know about this jewel that exists in the heart of Austin that's been providing affordable health care for 30 years."

Photo: Clinic technicianHowever, the clinic has to turn away an average of 200 people each week who are seeking less serious care such as a well-child visits. Rogoff says this affects the whole health care system.

"I think we're in crisis," says Rogoff. "When people can't get primary health care to maintain their own well-being and they get sick. They can either take care of themselves, come to see a doctor, maybe get better or they are going to avoid getting health care because they can't afford it. And if their conditions worsen they are going to end up in an emergency room where the cost just escalates."

Photo: People's Community ClinicWhat makes the clinic possible are the doctors and other health care workers who provide its services.

"I went to medical school to work at a place like People's Community Clinic," says Dr. Lisa Doggett. " In fact when I was in college I did an internship here to find out what medicine was all about."

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