The Way Free Clinic

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More than 35,000 low-income Clay County residents don’t have medical insurance. When they get sick, many either go untreated or eventually access local hospital emergency rooms.

The Way Free Clinic, established in 2006, provides 100% free medical care for uninsured, low income residents of Clay County. But The Way Free Medical Clinic can’t treat everyone, and there are other providers who are able to support these residents. A new initiative—ClayPASS—seeks to coordinate all the providers and provide a direct connection to residents with medical needs in a way that prioritizes and coordinates the most appropriate care, and actively diverts unnecessary and costly hospital utilization.

The ClayPASS Coordinated Medical Care Initiative will:

  • Map the entire provider system serving the uninsured
  • Develop a shared database for tracking provider system utilization
  • Coordinate care and navigate patients through the system (case management)
  • Actively divert unnecessary hospital emergency department utilization
  • Actively prevent in-patient hospital readmissions in all three Clay County hospitals.

Don Fann, executive director of The Way Free Clinic, put it this way:

“Medical care coordination for low-income residents has never before been attempted in Clay County and will most certainly prove to be a major accelerator to increasing access to free and affordable care,” he noted. 

Don Fann, executive director of The Way Free Clinic

“By mapping the provider system that serves the uninsured and underinsured, and navigating individuals through that system, everyone who needs medical care in Clay will be able to access it. At the same time, ClayPASS will dramatically decrease unnecessary hospital utilization, saving the healthcare system millions and keeping Clay healthy.”

The Community Foundation’s Grants Team found the proposal compelling and recently made a $25,000 program grant to support this effort. The grant will support the above initiatives, and help with the hiring of two new staff members to coordinate.

“We were impressed with the proposal’s themes of improved general population health, a decrease in communicable diseases, decreases in paid health care system utilization, cost savings to hospitals, and the prospect that county agencies would benefit from decreased utilization of county services for health care (i.e. 911 calls, jail health services, etc.), noted James Coggin, Program Director. “It’s encouraging that this approach has great alignment, great communication and a shared intent to solve this problem.”

Through these activities, The Way Free Medical Clinic expects the ClayPASS program to save the Clay County healthcare system millions of dollars each year once the initiative is fully launched.

James Coggin

James continued, “ClayPASS has great potential for long term financial sustainability. It is hoped that the efficiencies gained by the three hospitals may encourage hospitals to support this long term.”

The Way Free Medical Clinic is also embarking on an “Expanding Capacity to Care” initiative. The fundraising initiative has been launched to provide more services to more people and finalize the organization’s local solution to the problem of a lack of affordable health care. This fundraising initiative would help the organization double the number of people served by the clinic in three years. For more information, go to 

For more information about The Community Foundation’s grantmaking, go to

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