: News

Filed Under:

Arlington Free Clinic Demand Continues To Grow

Play associated audio
Volunteer Marietha Mayen is one of the first faces patients at the Arlington Free Clinic see.
Jonathan Wilson
Volunteer Marietha Mayen is one of the first faces patients at the Arlington Free Clinic see.

By Jonathan Wilson

As the President and members of Congress get set to renew talks on health care legislation, the surge in demand at free health care clinics in our area continues.

Marietta Mayen is one of the first people patients at the Arlington Free Clinic see she's a volunteer who helps explain how appointments will work, often in Spanish. 60 percent of patients here are Hispanic, a group that is four times more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanics.

"Okay, thank you for the donations, gracias," Mayen says to two female patients who've slipped a few dollars into the donation jar.

The clinic moved into a larger, and newer office this past May, and the extra space is essential.

The clinic holds a lottery each month to fill the 20 new patient slots it keeps open. Executive Director Nancy Pallesen says 12 or 14 months ago, about 45 people would sign up for it.

"It's now up to 150 people a month are coming for those same 20 spaces, and it's every month," says Pallesen.

Sheila Ryan is the clinic's Director of Clinical Services. She's been here for six years, and is happy with the sparkling new office space, but she says watching this place grow is bittersweet.

"I would hope that as we grow we give better care, but I don't think its necessarily a good thing that more and more patients are turned away and we have to ask ourselves how we can serve more," says Ryan.

The Arlington Free Clinic currently serves more than 1600 patients a year.

Nancy Pallesen, the executive director of the Arlington Free Clinic, is also a member of WAMU's Community Council.

NPR

How Photos Of Crisis Can Shape The Events They Represent

NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Kira Pollack, director of photography and visual enterprise at Time, about how iconic photos might affect the conversation about the events they have come to represent.
NPR

How Big Egg Tried To Bring Down Little 'Mayo' (And Failed)

Newly released emails from the American Egg Board reveal embarrassing details about its fight against the vegan product Just Mayo. Industry critics say the board's antics may have broken the law.
WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - International

Hungary struggles to deal with thousands of migrants at a Budapest train station. World leaders react to news the Obama administration clears a hurdle on the Iran nuclear deal. And the king of Saudi Arabia makes his first official visit to Washington. A panel of journalists joins guest host Tamara Keith for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

NPR

How The Architect Of Netflix's Innovative Culture Lost Her Job To The System

Netflix is famous for pioneering a company culture that demands standout results from every employee. One of the architects of this philosophy ended up losing her job to the system she created.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.