Smoking Cessation – a service offered at MFMC

Hello MFMC patients, families, and friends! I am Pallavi, a volunteer at the clinic. This month I would like to share with you some very important information about smoking. Most importantly, how the clinic can help you quit if you are looking to!

What are the consequences of smoking?

Smoking causes and increases the risk for the leading causes of death in the U.S including…

~Coronary heart disease

~Lung, Stomach, Pancreas, Colon, Liver, Blood, and more Cancers

~Stroke

~Lung disease (COPD, emphysema)

 

Why is smoking addictive?

~ Cigarettes contain Nicotine.

~Nicotine is an addictive chemical that alters the brain.

~Smoking cigarettes causes a person to become dependent on Nicotine and feel anxious and irritable without it.

 

What is the real price of smoking?

~According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States with over 480,000 U.S deaths per year”.

 

How can the clinic help me QUIT smoking?

~ The Clinic’s dedicated staff do many things to help patients quit smoking!

~ MFMC’s wonderful pharmacist can…

  • Provide you with the facts you should know about smoking.
  • Work with you to find alternatives to smoking and helping you change habits.
  • Determine and prescribe the appropriate method to quitting smoking whether nicotine replacement therapy or prescriptions.
  • Last but not least, refer you to educational and helpful resources.

 

What are the benefits of quitting Smoking?

~According to smokefree.gov, “Quitting can lower your blood pressure and heart rate almost immediately. Your risk of a heart attack declines within 24 hours.

~Risk of stroke decreases

~Preventing Lung disease

~Reduce belly fat

~Lower the risk of diabetes

~Stronger immune system

~Stronger muscle and bones

 

Please and Thank you!

~ So please, if you smoke and are looking to quit, use the clinic’s services! There are many resources and people at the clinic ready to help you quit. If you can not make it to the clinic but would still like to quit smoking, find information at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Thanks for reading and please revisit the blog next month for another post!

By Pallavi Patil

Advertisements

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

mental health awareness month

People all across the world struggle with maintaining positive mental health. In the US alone, 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 4 teens deal with anxiety, depression and/or excessive stress.

In recent years, society has taken it upon itself to combat the mental health stigma, and so far it has been successful. Whether it is celebrities or public figures opening up about their own struggles or its recent portrayal in movies, tv shows, books, and music; society has finally begun to show that good mental health is something that everyone deals with on different levels and that it is important to reach out and get help no matter the severity.

There are several ways to improve your long term mental health, as well as your day to day mood. Often it is the small things you don’t think about that can leave you with feelings of being overwhelmed or down. Some ways to combat those day to day feeling are maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, eating a healthy balanced diet, monitoring your daily media intake, and keeping busy whether with physical activity or personal hobbies.

Sleep habits can have drastic impacts on your mood. Getting a good night’s sleep, between 7 and 8 hours, can set the tone for your whole day. Often times a lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of anxiety or stress by making it difficult to focus. It is very common for a person’s mood to be affected by their diet.

Eating the correct amount of fruits and vegetables, 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables per day, can leave you feeling refreshed, happy, and not result in a bloated, lethargic feeling. Along with fruit and veggies, making sure that the correct amount protein is represented in your diet is equally, if not more, important. Proteins are the building blocks for your body. The neurotransmitters in your brain are primarily made of amino acids (the monomer, or building blocks, of proteins). When your diet does not provide enough protein to support the neurotransmitters it changes the way they process and can cause them to deliver lower levels of dopamine and serotonin (mood affecting chemicals).

Keeping busy and staying active are essential to improving your mood and mental health. Physical exercise promotes the release of endorphins in the brain as well as other positive chemicals. These mood boosting chemicals can drastically improve your mood and over time can even lessen the symptoms of mental illnesses such as chronic depression and severe anxiety.

Finally, learning to monitor and filter your daily media intake is an important skill to develop when working to improve your mental health. Constant negativity, bad influences, and a never ending surplus of other people to compare yourself to can negatively affect your short term mood, later leading to larger impacts on your long term mental health. Only allowing for a focus on positive and appropriate forms of media will greatly impact your mood and your view of the world.

No matter what you are struggling with it is important to realize that you are not alone. Countless people across the world struggle from different forms of mental illness every day.

**Remember is it important to talk to talk with your provider before starting a new diet and/or exercise routine. 

Courtesy of Lily Hancock

Celebrating 15 Years of Serving

CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF SERVING OUR COMMUNITY!
As February comes to an end, we want to stop and recognize when it all began. In February 2004, we opened our doors and provided primary care one evening a week. Because of your partnership, we have grown over the past 15 years to offer primary, specialty and ancillary care services five days a week. We want to say thank you for supporting us, thank you for volunteering and thank you for believing in our mission. We are grateful we get to do this every day and appreciate we get to partner with each of you! We will be celebrating this milestone all year long!

How Can the Clinic Help You?

Hello my name is Pallavi and I am a volunteer at the Matthews Free Medical Clinic! In the summer I volunteered at the clinic and got the opportunity to work with the amazingly personal and warm staff. I mainly ensured patients were up to date with medical scans, tests, and paperwork. While my experience was not on the medical side of things, I knew everything I was doing was to help the health of the clinic’s wonderful patients. I could go on about the wonderful volunteer experience I had last summer, but this month I would like to share some important information with you. Specifically, how the clinic can help patients with diabetes!

A little about the clinic and Diabetes The clinic provides a wide variety of care and services to its patients, including diabetes care. In today’s time and age, Type 2 Diabetes has become increasingly widespread with over 3 million cases diagnosed every year, and 1 in 3 adults with prediabetes. Luckily, type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed and treated here at the clinic!

So what exactly is type 2 Diabetes?Type 2 diabetes is a problem in your body that causes blood sugar levels to rise. Your body also has difficulty using insulin, a special chemical that breaks down food. Overtime this can be harmful to the body.

So how can you tell if you are at risk and need a diabetes screening?

-Anyone age 45 and above

-Anyone with high blood pressure

-Anyone who is obese or overweight

-Anyone with heart disease

-Family history of type 2 diabetes

-High cholesterol

-Sedentary lifestyle (not much exercise)

If I am at risk, how can the clinic help me? The clinic has many ways to help patients with type 2 diabetes. The clinic has providers who can diagnose your type 2 diabetes through blood tests all free of cost. The clinic also has a pharmacist who can help patients find the most cost-effective way to treat diabetes with medicine. Also, many medical staff at the clinic can help with nutrition counseling to treat diabetes along with medication. There are many staff members and volunteers here to help you!

Please and thank you! So please, if you meet any of the risk factors and have not been checked out at the clinic for diabetes, come in! Thanks for reading, and please revisit the site for another blog post next month!

by Pallavi Patil

 

 

 

Thank You, Matthews Free Medical Clinic

Staff HalloweenMy name is Amelia, and for the past year I have had the honor of being the Front Desk and Volunteer Coordinator at Matthews Free Medical Clinic. Sadly, today is my last day working at the clinic as my husband and I will be moving back to Washington State this month.

I have been so blessed by my time here and my encounters with all of the wonderful people I have met. I can’t adequately express how much my time at the clinic has meant to me. I will miss all of the staff, volunteers, and patients. It is all of you that make the clinic such an incredible place.

Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers for welcoming me into the clinic family. I have felt so loved and supported by all of you, and it has been a joy to work with you. Thank you so much for all you do for the clinic and the community! Thank you for letting me be a part of it. Thank you to all of the patients for your kindness, joy, and gratitude.

Matthews Free Medical Clinic has been such a blessing to me, and I know it continues to be a huge blessing to this community. I can’t wait to come back and volunteer when I am back in town. I am so thankful for all the clinic does to provide quality health care to uninsured patients in the area.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Volunteers!

We’d like to thank this local neighborhood group of kids who came by to volunteer at the clinic today! This is their third year volunteering. They did a supply drive for the clinic, made cards for our patients and their families, and cleaned up the clinic and park. We couldn’t be more grateful for these volunteers and others like them! It’s because of you that we can continue to provide free, quality healthcare to low income, uninsured patients in Mecklenburg and Union Counties.

 

One Week Left to Enter to Win this Painting and Support Matthews Free Medical Clinic

Reflections of BrantomeReflections of Brantome” is a 30 x 40 framed oil painting by local artist, Prudy Weaver that is being raffled off to support Matthews Free Medical Clinic.

Tickets are $20 per ticket, and there is no limit to the number of tickets that can be purchased. This painting is worth $4,000! Tickets can be purchased now until the raffle drawing on Saturday, November 4th at the Silver Brush Art Show and Sale.

Raffle tickets can be purchased in person at Matthews Free Medical Clinic, at the Silver Brush Art Show and Sale, or online.

To purchase tickets online go to www.matthewsfmc.org/contributions, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on donate, then select how you would like to make your payment (credit card or paypal). You may purchase more than one ticket. In the area “add special instructions” type “raffle ticket” and the number of tickets you are purchasing. All your information will be entered by the Matthews Free Medical Clinic into the raffle drawing, and we will send you your raffle ticket(s).

You do not need to be present at the drawing to win.

A special thank you to the local artist, Prudy Weaver and to Dick and Eleanor Morris for donating the painting to support Matthews Free Medical Clinic!

Enter to Win Painting by Local Artist and Support Matthews Free Medical Clinic!

Reflections of Brantome.jpg

Reflections of Brantome” by Prudy Weaver

“Reflections of Brantome” is a 30 x 40 framed oil painting by local artist, Prudy Weaver that is being raffled off to support Matthews Free Medical Clinic.

 

Tickets are $20 per ticket, and there is no limit to the number of tickets that can be purchased. Tickets can be purchased now until the raffle drawing on Saturday, November 4th at the Silver Brush Art Show and Sale.

Raffle tickets can be purchased in person at Matthews Free Medical Clinic, at the 9th Annual Hearts and Hands Benefit, at the Silver Brush Art Show and Sale, or online.

To purchase tickets online go to www.matthewsfmc.org/contributions, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on donate, then select how you would like to make your payment (credit card or paypal). You may purchase more than one ticket. In the area “add special instructions” type “raffle ticket” and the number of tickets you are purchasing. All your information will be entered by the Matthews Free Medical Clinic into the raffle drawing, and we will send you your raffle ticket(s).

You do not need to be present at the drawing to win.

A special thank you to the local artist, Prudy Weaver and to Dick and Eleanor Morris for donating the painting to support Matthews Free Medical Clinic!

 

Silver Brush Online.jpg

Hearts & Hands Together Benefit (2017)

Matthews Free Medical Clinic (MFMC) serves the uninsured and non-elderly (ages 14-64) individuals of Mecklenburg and Union Counties that have family income levels at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. As a free medical clinic, we do not receive reimbursements from private insurances, Medicare, or Medicaid, nor federal or local government funding. This means the Clinic is run 100% on donations and grants. Nearly half of our yearly revenue is raised through our two annual fundraisers: the MFMC Golf Tournament and the Hearts & Hands Benefit. With the 2017 MFMC Golf Tournament having occurred in May, we are now looking to the Hearts & Hands Benefit for the majority of our Clinic’s fundraising. On October 21st, 2017, at Myers Park Country Club, MFMC is hosting the 9th Annual Hearts & Hands Benefit: a cocktail dinner complete with silent and live auctions. All proceeds raised provide direct patient care to people in our community that would otherwise go without. Tickets are $125 per person (which includes drinks and dinner). The event is cocktail attire. The opportunity to sponsor the 2017 Hearts & Hands Benefit is also available:

Title Sponsor $5,000. Includes:

  • Exclusive naming rights of event program
  • Prominent company name and logo placement on all promotional materials associated with the event; including banners, website, mailings, event signage and all post event communications Opportunity to provide sponsor giveaway in swag bags
  • Company designee invited to share opening remarks and address event guests
  • Invitation for (16) VIP guests
  • Company name on clinic donor wall
  • Personal Concierge Service – (2) per table

Platinum Sponsor $2,500. Includes:

  • Company name and logo placement on all promotional materials associated with the event; including banners, website, mailings, event signage and all post event communications
  • Invitation for (8) guests
  • Company name on clinic donor wall
  • Personal Concierge Service – (2) per table

Diamond Sponsor $1,000. Includes:

  • Company name and logo placement on all promotional materials associated with the event; including banners, website, mailings, event signage and all post event communications Invitation for (4) guests

Gold Sponsor $ 500. Includes:

  • Company name and logo placement on all promotional materials associated with the event; including banners, website, mailings, event signage and all post event communications. Invitation for (2) guests

Auction Item Donation $125./ Concierge Includes:

  • Company name on promotional materials associated with the event; including website, mailings, event signage and post event communications

NEW Add On: Personal Concierge Service:

  • Designated Concierge will personally escort you and your guests to your table
  • Attend to your table needs such as, drinks updating bid sheets for silent auction, etc.
  • Personal guidance through check out at the end of the evening

 

Contact Amy Carr to reserve your tickets and/or sponsorships: acarr@matthewsfmc.org or 704-841-8882 ext 25

Written by: Grace Harper, Davidson College Impact Fellow working at Matthews Free Medical Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

Thank You to Our Summer Interns!

Interns2This summer Matthews Free Medical Clinic was blessed to have five interns, including students from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program and Undergraduate and Graduate students from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Olivia and Morghan interned with the clinic through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP) and are both seniors at local high schools. The goal of MSYEP is to serve as a young person’s first job experience and exposure to the world of work. All youth participate in skill-building workshops each week and have the opportunity to attend college tours, financial literacy training, and a variety of program-sponsored social events during the summer. This is a wonderful program that we have been so blessed to work with. We want to thank Bank of America for their sponsorship of this program.

Olivia and Morghan worked on several projects at the clinic throughout the summer, including planning for and helping with clinic events and fundraisers, new patient screenings, and our annual patient recertification.

Our officer manager, Melody, had this to say about Olivia and Morghan: “We were blessed with two amazing interns this year! They jumped in, willing to do both small tasks and big projects with great attitudes and attention to details. They transformed the timetable of our annual patient recertification, tirelessly helping me process the recertification documents through each step. I cannot speak highly enough about their efficiency, thoroughness, cheerful attitudes and willingness to do whatever they were asked to do. They were truly a blessing to me and the clinic this summer, and we are missing them already!”

Our three UNCC interns spent the summer working on projects within their different focuses. Becca, an undergraduate student, led a class for our patients on preventing heart disease, as well as helped with recertification and new patient screening. Robert, who is a graduate student at UNCC, spent his time at the clinic analyzing coding in our electronic medical records. Morgan, also a graduate student at UNCC, created and implemented a 5 week health and wellness educational program for our patients, and also worked on patient recertification and screening.herb garden

Of her time interning her at the clinic, Morgan said, “In addition to completing my internship goals, I created memories that will last a lifetime. It was such a joy working with the staff and patients at the clinic. Matthews Free Medical Clinic welcomed me and treated me like family from the day I walked through the doors. They will always have a special place in my heart.”

We are so grateful for all of these interns and the wonderful work they did this summer. We wish them all the best, and know they have great things ahead of them!