Congratulations to Loudoun Free Clinic for being a finalist this year for the 25th Anniversary of the Loudoun Small Business Awards! View the full list of finalists here. These awards will be held on November 8, 2019 at The National Conference Center. Register Here!
Loudoun Free Clinic is a finalist for Nonprofit of the Year. Post submitted by Executive Director, Chuck Birdie.
1. Tell us your story.
The Catoctin Foundation was established in 1998, when a group of concerned physicians, healthcare providers and community leaders in Loudoun County realized that 15% of northern Virginians had no healthcare insurance. Through their collaboration and efforts, the Loudoun Free Clinic was created with a mission to provide quality healthcare for Loudoun County residents who, as a result of economic or other barriers, would otherwise do without. Our specific mission was targeted to include a patient population of uninsured County residents age 18-64 whose income level falls within 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Care was provided initially once a week by volunteer providers and administrators. Loudoun Free Clinic now has a dedicated clinic space at the INOVA Loudoun Cornwall campus and is open 4 days and two evenings per week.
Over the past 20 years, we have expanded access to healthcare in the community, and we are proud to be an integral part of the County’s Safety Net. Our dedicated physician and nurse volunteers and staff, with assistance from medical specialists (cardiologists, gastroenterologists, etc.) and community partners (INOVA, Loudoun Hunger Relief, Loudoun Cares), have improved the health and lives of thousands of people by providing top quality, compassionate medical care.
In addition to medical visits, we are able to fully care for our patients by providing access to dental care, mental health counseling, laboratory services, diagnostic testing, surgery and prescription medication. We coordinate visits, medications, tests, surgeries, and often transportation for hundreds of people struggling with emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions. We ensure that all treatments are provided at no cost to our patients.
2. What would it mean to LFC to win a Small Business Award?
Winning the Nonprofit of the Year award would acknowledge and validate the work our staff does day in and day out for the poorest County residents. It’s not sexy or well-paid work, we don’t get bonuses for being ‘top providers’ or have investors looking at our growth potential. We ease the pain, repair the health, and calm the distress and hopelessness of our most vulnerable neighbors.
3. If you weren’t working at the Clinic, what would you be doing?
Probably working in some other social service, charitable setting. It gets into your head and blood.
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book.
I’m reading The Gifted School about four close, privileged, type-A parents who fall out with and back-stab each other in order to get their children into a new school. It gives you an insight into the personalities involved in the recent college admissions scandal. My favorite book is anything written by Stephen King.
5. What would I do with 24 hours off with family out of town
Big pot of coffee, leisurely breakfast, read the paper until 10.
6. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact?
In talking to the staff, we agree it is the expressions of happiness and the words of thanks a patient provides after being listened to, diagnosed and treated. The things we take for granted – our health, physicians who see us when we need them, medications – are out of reach for the people who use the Clinic.
7. What did you want to be growing up? Childhood dream?
An oceanographer. I knew about Jacques Cousteau like most kids my age knew Dr. Seuss.
8. The one person who influenced you in your career?
Kevin Allen, a friend I made scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins back in high school. After college, Kevin brought me into the fundraising world. He was a master of ‘The Ask’.
9. Favorite thing about running a nonprofit in Loudoun County?
Trying to convince my neighbors that there are people in Loudoun County who don’t have healthcare, who go hungry, who sleep in cars and tents, who make $28k/year and provide for a family….
10. If you’re not in the office, where are you?
Empty-nesting with my wife, taking a walk, getting a piece of meat ready for the smoker.
11. Favorite weekend activity in Loudoun?
Finding the newest brewery or trying to catch up on the last one that opened.