In the mid-1990s, a local physician and three nurse practitioners who saw the need for basic medical care for the homeless in our community started the Good Samaritan Free Clinic within Talbot House. Though it started small – initially only open Saturdays, staffed by volunteers and held in the dining room of old Talbot House, it has grown to a facility that’s open five or six days a week, has a regular staff consisting of a nurse practitioner, registered nurse and dental hygienist (not to mention several volunteer nurses, physicians and dentists) and provides services including: primary care, flu shots, dental care, well women visits, podiatry, diabetic clinics, HIV/STD testing in conjunction with Polk County Health Department and more.
Good Samaritan Free Clinic provides healthcare visits to adults with all care, supplies, and medications being free of charge. To be seen in the clinic, patients must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Must be uninsured and not receiving any insurance of any kind.
- Must have a Polk County identification.
- Must meet income requirements (less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines).
Along with the medical care provided by the Good Samaritan Free Clinic staff are basic medical testing as well as counseling and education for their patients on safe health behaviors, self-care skills and treatment options, and the provision of screening tests and immunizations. With the participation of the patient, the staff will also formulate a plan including (if needed) components of further testing, specialist referral, medication, therapy, diet or lifestyle changes and follow-up results of treatment.
If you’d like more information about the Good Samaritan Free Clinic, please call (863) 226-4261.