Running to Serve Others

September 2018

 

Writer // Janelle Morrison    Photography // Courtesy of Trinity Free Clinic

There is still time to register for the 17th Annual Trinity Free Clinic Run for Wellness that will take place Saturday, October 13. The event is USATF Sanctioned and Certified. This year, Trinity Free Clinic announced the addition of both 10K and 15K courses along with the 5K course. The 10K and 15K runners will enjoy the scenery from the Monon, Greyhound and Meadowlark Park trails.

The purpose of the run is to raise funds for Trinity Free Clinic and raise awareness of the various medical and dental services that it provides Hamilton County residents who are underserved and in need of healthcare services. Many do not realize that one in 12 Hamilton County residents do not have access to medical and dental care and are uninsured. Additionally, one in 20 residents live below the poverty line.

Trinity Free Clinic was established in October 2000 as an outreach ministry of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church using the school nurse’s office and library for the clinic. In 2002, the clinic moved to the former OLMC convent at 146th Street and Oak Ridge Road to meet the growing needs of its patients. In 2011, the clinic moved to the new Matthew 25 Center on the campus of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The clinic filed for 501(c)(3) status and was granted the nonprofit status in 2005.

“While we are an independent entity, we are very grateful to have the resources that they [the church] provide to us,” said Autumn Zawadzki, director of marketing at Trinity Free Clinic. “We actually reside in a facility on the campus of the church. Our primary focus is on providing medical and dental care for Hamilton County families and individuals who don’t have insurance or have insurance but, as we often see with low-wage jobs, the deductibles are so high that you might as well not have insurance at all. You would have to have a catastrophic event in order to be able to access it.”

Zawadzki explained that the clinic sees many patients who are working two or three jobs, trying to make ends meet.

“Since our patients don’t have access to regular medical care, we schedule half-hour appointments with the patients, and the medical professionals spend time talking with them about their health. Many will find that the patients haven’t had a pap smear or mammogram in several years or that their high blood pressure is out of control and isn’t regularly monitored. Some will suffer from asthma but haven’t had an inhaler for several years. Others will bring their children in for well checks and shots. We refer the patients to specialty services that can treat the very specific medical needs that we see come up on a regular basis.”

The Run for Wellness helps to raise necessary funds that allow the dedicated team of volunteers and medical professionals to run Trinity Free Clinic and care for our fellow neighbors.

“We are very grateful to have a lot of partners within the community,” Zawadzki emphasized. “We partner with all of the area hospitals and an enormous number of private practitioners that often provide services for our patients at reduced cost or at no cost.”

The Run for Wellness needs the support of its sponsors, expo vendors, volunteers and people like you who want to make a difference in the lives of Hamilton County residents in need. Please consider registering as a runner, sponsor or volunteer and become part of what is good about our county.

For more information on The Run for Wellness and/or the services provided at Trinity Free Clinic, visit trinityfreeclinic.org.