Community Clinic in Siloam Springs hosts ‘friend raiser’
“Our mission statement is helping people lead healthy lives by providing health care to all of Northwest Arkansas,” says Community Clinic’s communication manager, Morgan Scholz. “We’ve been established for over 20 years and serve Washington and Benton counties with affordable, quality health care. We’re the largest safety net health care organization in the area.”
Scholz says Community Clinics located in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Siloam Springs offer dental, medical, pediatric and prenatal care.
“We offer all of our services in Spanish, English and Marshallese,” says Scholz. “Over half of our staff are bilingual, which matches the needs of our patient population.”
Scholz says that Community Clinic is proud to have one of only two Marshallese physicians in the United States working there.
“Dr. Sheldon Riklon works a lot with that patient demographic, which is great, because they often experience greater barriers to medical access.”
Scholz says that while the clinics are not free clinics, their policy is to never turn away a patient regardless of ability to pay. Most forms of insurance are accepted, and patients without insurance are offered services on a sliding scale that is based on family income and size.
“We fully believe everybody should have access to quality health care,” says Scholz.
The Community Clinic system has also expanded to the school system: It has clinics located in seven public schools.
“Those are a great value,” says Scholz. “When a child is sick and needs to be diagnosed, they can do that at the school clinic without the parent having to take off work. The majority of our patients are low income, so that can be a real barrier to receiving
health care. Our school clinics are also available to the community — you or I could seek health care at a school-based clinic.”
Another facet of care that Scholz says makes Community Clinic stand out is that they provide integrated behavioral health with their health care services.
“We are one of the first in the area to do this,” she says. “We have a full-time psychiatrist, six social workers and several fifth-year psychiatric interns from the University of Arkansas who work with our health care providers to address and assess our patients’ behavioral health needs in an efficient, non-stigmatizing way. If I
go to get my annual wellness exam, they will perform a very basic screening. If my doctor is concerned that I may be struggling with depression, he or she may have a psychiatrist or social worker come down to discuss a treatment plan in that same meeting. It’s very effective in helping to identify the problem early and address it quickly, without
the stigma that’s often associated with behavioral health care.
“Our integrated behavioral health services are only available to our patients and are integrated into our health care services,” Scholz continues. “A lot of people are excited to learn that we have a full-time psychiatrist and want to come and see him exclusively, but it’s very much a holistic approach.”
Community Clinic staff and physicians are not volunteers, and much of the funding for services comes from grants and patient fees, says Scholz. But community members who would like to help support the clinic’s efforts will have that opportunity when the Siloam Springs Community Clinic hosts its 12th annual fundraiser on Aug. 19.
“The Siloam Springs
clinic became an extension of the Community Clinic in 2009, but it had been functioning since 2000 as a small nonprofit,” explains Scholz. “That’s why this clinic is the only location that hosts this fundraiser. The nonprofit that started in 2000 was such a strong collaborative community effort that was born out of collective compassion and the desire to do something about the immediate need people were seeing in this small community. There’s a very strong sense of community support for this event, and we’re so proud to be celebrating the 12th annual event.”
This year’s theme is Summer Masquerade.
“So break out that masquerade mask you’ve got in your closet that’s been dying for an occasion,”
says Scholz. The event will be catered by the popular Fayetteville restaurant Cafe Rue Orleans, and Scholz promises exciting items for the live and silent auctions — like the “Pie of the Month” package that includes a different pie, every month, baked by the Wooden Spoon in Gentry.
“This is an event that has value to us not only just monetarily, but as a celebration of the community support that this clinic embodies,” says Scholz. “Our CEO, in fact, calls it a ‘friend raiser,’ not a fundraiser. A lot of people who have been a part of this since day one get to come together and celebrate the good work that we continue to do in our community.”
Siloam Springs Community Clinic’s 2016 attendees included Siloam Springs Community Clinic office manager Raquel Beck, Jonathan Barnett and honorary chairwoman Christina Drake.