GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Volunteer doctors at a multi-program non-profit organization in Goochland County are giving free medical care to patients who may not have health insurance.
GoochlandCares serves low-income community members and gives out food, clothes and social services all under one roof. The free medical clinic has recently expanded to serving clients not just in Goochland, but from Cumberland, Fluvanna and Louisa as well.
One of the ways nephrologist Dr. Bruce Silverman spends his retirement is by caring for patients at GoochlandCares’ free clinic. Dr. Silverman provides services to patients who may be uninsured or low-income.
“It’s very important. It’s critical,” said GoochlandCares executive director Sally Graham.
Six patients are all the program started with, and Graham said it has grown tremendously over the years.
The organization doesn’t just stop at offering medical care. GoochlandCares has a food pantry, domestic violence resources, among other programs to help those in need.
“It’s definitely made a big difference in people’s ability to afford the basic needs,” Graham said.
Dr. Silverman stepped up to be one of the free clinic’s six to seven unpaid volunteers.
“I saw how expensive health care was because after you retire, you start paying your health insurance out of your pocket,” Dr. Silverman said. “And I realized how ridiculously expensive it was.”
The clinic offers cancer screenings, lab work or physicals to the 10% of Virginians who don’t have health insurance at all or may be low-income.
“They’ve saved our lives in so many ways,” Dolores Hastings said. She and her husband have been clients at GoochlandCares for more than a decade.
Hastings makes sure to give back to the volunteers, always wearing something to make them smile.
“They see me and they go, what’s she got on today? And, you know, that’s how I, you know, make them smile a little bit,” she said, wearing a colorful headband. “You can get your medicine. You can, you know, don’t have to make a choice between food and medicine.”
Dr. Silverman hopes people understand the importance of going to the doctor.
“Make your life better now and protect it in the future so that you can do things as you grow older and not end up in the hospital,” he said.
To apply for services or volunteer at GoochlandCares, click here.