Grand Chute free clinic to serve uninsured and underinsured

    The sign for the new Hope Clinic & Care Center. (WLUK)

    For some, medical insurance seems out of reach.

    That's what the Hope Clinic and Care Center at Appleton Alliance Church aims to change.

    Cal Kanowitz, executive director at the clinic, said, "We want people to know we're here so that we can help them."

    After doing extensive research, leaders with the Hope Clinic found that a facility like this was much needed in the Valley.

    Erika Charais, registered nurse, said, "When we started this project, there were about 12,000 uninsured people just in Outagamie County alone."

    Kanowitz said, "There's quite a few hurting people in the Valley that really fall into that category, so that's why we're doing it."

    The clinic, which officially opened Monday, offers free primary, specialty, and wellness care for uninsured and severely underinsured people.

    Dr. Michael Polka, a volunteer provider, said, "Definitely, the first person I saw today made a huge impact. [He was] definitely not treated correctly for the past two years, and it's something we can make a simple impact that could very well change his life. So it's a very, very good feeling."

    Almost all the staff at the clinic are volunteers. And for Dr. Michael Polka, the time spent is well worth it.

    Polka said, "Myself personally, I get more out of volunteering than I put into it. It really serves a need in the community. I love helping the community and just helping people that are in need medically."

    Charais said, "I think that this clinic provides us the opportunity to do what we went into the health care field for, to really just help people."

    Kanowitz said, "They come out to support this because they see the need, and they also work in this every day and see that people are hurting."

    And the facility is hoping to expand that reach even more.

    Polka said, "Where we go with this clinic is going to be very good places. We're only going to get better from here."

    Click here to get to the clinic's website to book appointments. The clinic is open Mondays and Thursdays from 10:00a.m. to 8:00p.m.

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