Free midstate medical clinic concerned for the future

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 16, 2014 6:27 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A Harrisburg clinic that provides free health care, dental services, and prescription drugs is asking for help, and administrators are concerned about the future.

Medical records doctor

Mission of Mercy recently moved into the Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic School in the city's Allison Hill neighborhood.

But, the most immediate concern is a shortage in cash.

To break even for the fiscal year that ends June 30th, the clinic needs to collect about $130,000.

That doesn't address the increasing demand Jennifer Charlton sees coming.

"There is a crack for sure in the Affordable Care Act, which is dental is not included, and it is very much an integrated issue in the overarching issue of health care," says Charlton, Executive Director of Mission of Mercy for Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The ACA does require health plans include dental coverage for those under 18.

But for adults, its optional.

"And we see it every day at our clinic. Where people come in fully infected, in fact, they'll need medications before they can actually have that tooth pulled or frankly, several teeth pulled, that they need to have done," says Charlton.

Mission of Mercy treats about 550 people a year.

The clinic also has hopes of expanding to upper Dauphin County to meet demand in that area.

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