Supporting Excellence at Wisconsin Free & Charitable Clinics

Creating a "standards of excellence" tool to improve health outcomes at Wisconsin&s free and charitable clinics (FCCs)

Full Project Name:Developing Standards of Excellence to Guide Wisconsin's Free & Charitable ClinicsPrimary Community Organization:Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, Inc.Award Amount:$9,990.00
Award Date
July2016
Project Duration:12 months

Project Description Narrative:


Free and charitable clinics serve a critical community-identified need to address health disparities by providing health care and preventive screenings to community members who do not have access to other health care systems. Many clinics operate mainly through volunteers with few administrative staff and struggle to quantify and document their operations to ensure and demonstrate that they are providing the highest standards of care possible. This project aimed to create a "standards of excellence" tool designed to improve health outcomes at Wisconsin&s free and charitable clinics (FCCs), improve the patient experience, promote population health, optimize patient health and interrupt disease progression. A Seal of Excellence will be created for clinics to promote their achievement of the Standards and partners will share the model with clinics across the nation to help better serve the economically challenged.

Project partners:

Committee member representation: Church Health Services, Froedtert Health - Community Outreach Health Clinic, Lake Area Free Clinic, MCW Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Open Arms Free Clinic, Rock River Free Clinic, Salvation Army of Manitowoc County Red Shield Medical Clinic, St. Vincent DePaul Charitable Pharmacy, Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, Inc. (WAFCC), Watertown Area Cares Clinic

Advisory panel representation:

AmeriCares, Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (CTRI), University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, HealthNet of Rock County, Illinois Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, KOHL&s Conversations for the Cure® Susan G. Komen®, Lutheran Social Services Refugee Resettlement, National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Ohio Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, Open Arms Free Clinic, Inc., Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, St. Joseph&s Medical Clinic, Texas Charitable Clinic Association, Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Inc., Washington Healthcare Access Alliance, Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, Wisconsin Council on Physical Disabilities, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Office of Policy and Practice Alignment

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Developed the Wisconsin Standards of Excellence to guide free and charitable clinics to meet quality challenges of health care delivery

• Developed resources to support clinics in achieving the standards and a Standards of Excellence Seal to help clinics promote their achievement in their community

• Leveraged funding and resources as a result of this planning project to support clinics in implementing the standards and, as a result of achieving the Standards, individual clinics have leveraged funds to support their ongoing clinical efforts

• Developed new partnerships to support clinics further based on raised awareness of free and charitable clinics due to the standards and data collected through the process

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