On June 26, 2014, the Brattleboro Reformer featured a front page article entitled “Putney Walk In Clinic Closes”. The article presented a historical documentation of its origins and the changing health care environment of today. The article’s title is not exactly accurate as it is only a piece of the story. I would like to share with the Putney community and greater Windham County the rest of the story…
June 19, 2014 was indeed the last medical walk in clinic in Putney. You will please take note of the word medical. The medical clinic closed for all the aforementioned reasons stated in the June 26th article. The exciting part of that untold story is the transition to a referral clinic. What does this mean? I will explain.
The Putney Walk In Clinic (PWIC) provided, and will continue to provide, so many more services to the general public than free medical care on Thursday evenings. PWIC actually operated office hours at Putney Family Services (PFS) main office assisting people to apply for many State of VT services such as VHAP, Catamount, Dr. Dynasaur, VPharm, 3 Squares and fuel assistance. PWIC/PFS assists approximately 285+ individuals/families each year in the application process and follow up to ensure successful enrollment and necessary benefits.
How has this changed? As a referral clinic, we will continue to assist people to enroll in Vermont Health Connect and State of VT Medicaid as certified Navigators, Dr. Dynasuar, Ladies First, VPharm, 3 Squares and fuel assistance. The component that is changing is our ability to connect people with establishing or accessing a primary care provider for consistent and quality healthcare. That is what the Affordable Care Act is all about – quality, affordable, accessible healthcare. We are also in the process of establishing relationships with Urgent Care Clinics, providers and pharmacies to create affordable resources for our clients.
While the article spoke about decline in patient numbers, I am here to happily and proudly announce that PWIC/PFS served 81% more Vermonters in this fiscal year than last. Need is never ending and those that are underinsured and/or uninsured will always remain. Our Clinic doors are have only “closed” to medical visits. The model has transitioned to reflect a changing climate and our doors are OPEN! Please call Putney Family Services and the Putney Walk In Clinic if you require assistance in obtaining a primary care provider, any State of VT services, Vermont Health Connect insurance or have general questions. You can reach us 387-2120.
Patricia A. Field, Executive Director
Putney Family Services