Elkhorn Community Fund representatives Ward Phillips (left) and Tobie Watts-Green (right) present a grant check to Open Arms Free Clinic Executive Director, Sara Nichols (middle). (Submitted photo)

Elkhorn Fund supports clinic, which serves county residents

Open Arms Free Clinic recently announced it received a grant from the Elkhorn Community Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Inc. to support technology capital.

The clinic is located in Elkhorn, the county seat for Walworth County. More than 500 patients enroll annually thus patients will directly benefit from having reliable equipment to ensure medical records are available. Each patient chart is carefully assembled with forms for the volunteer providers to track health status and disease management, according to a press release from the clinic. The requested funds are to purchase the equipment necessary to maintain patient charts and provide timely referrals for additional services.

“As a private non-profit, our work is supported totally by donations and grants. In supporting us through individual, grant, and event-based giving, the community is also supporting the countless volunteer hours provided us by local doctors, dentists and other medical professionals who have selflessly served over 2,000 patients in our four short years,” Open Arms Executive Director Sara Nichols said.

About the foundation

The grant is made available from the Community Foundation’s Elkhorn Community Fund, a resource for area nonprofit organizations whose programs and services are working for the betterment of our communities. Grants from the Elkhorn Community Fund have supported the arts, education, environment, health and human services and historic preservation.

For more information about how you can impact your community through the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, call Jane Maldonis at (608) 758-0883 or (800) 995-2379 or visit www.cfsw.org.

The Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin serves nine Wisconsin counties: Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, and Walworth.

About Open Arms

Open Arms Free Clinic is the first and only free medical and supportive care clinic in Walworth County serving low-income and uninsured residents with primary medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, lab, and pharmaceutical assistance.

Created in December 2011, and expanded in April 2015, Open Arms is an independent, community-based, not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization with a mission to better understand and serve with compassion the health and wellness needs of the uninsured, low income, and underserved residents of Walworth County.

The clinic derives all its operating income solely from private donations, foundations, grants, and fundraising events. The clinic has cared for over 2,000 patients. More than 500 volunteers have participated in the care of the greater community, with approximately 200 active volunteers. Between 2012 and 2016, these community minded doctors, nurses, pharmacists, advocates and clericals have served well over 30,000 hours, the press release states.

Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act there were over 13,000 Walworth County residents without health insurance. Currently, there are still over 8,000 people living in the county who do not have any form of health insurance coverage. Open Arms Free Clinic is well aware the need continues and will remain Walworth County’s first “safety ­net” healthcare provider dispensing services with compassion, advocacy, and understanding.


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