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Free Clinics: Willing Service Inspires Willing Changes

Carlos Moretta


Attendees to this seminar will gain a deeper understanding of how Free Clinics:

1. Affect patients (access to treatment, follow-up care, etc.)
2. Affect the provider (professional fulfillment, diversity in setting of care, 
integration of whole person care)

3. Affect the community (surrounding providers/practices, churches, communityhealth stats)

4. Affect the Christian (deeper understanding of the Right Arm of the Gospel,Christ's method, role of health care in this current social and spiritual climate) 


Carlos Moretta

Dentist and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing in the Loma Linda area.



  • October 27, 2017
    9:30 AM


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Father in heaven I come to you this morning empty me of self and I pray that he would through my words and should fire those listening to become active in this very particular ministry medical missionary work we thank you again for this opportunity in these things you prayed and Sensi. So there's a brief outline. Of what I wanted to touch on little introduction there's always the bad and ugly associated with free clinics many of you are familiar with those and then I want to go over the effect of free clinics on the community the provider the Christian provider the church and patients of course. Free and charitable clinics are critical part of the health care safety net system in the United States all are nonprofit and serve the uninsured for free or with nominal charges most free clinics or primary care focus but a small portion provides other services such as dental behavioral health and optical care free clinics range from small organizations staffed by volunteer physician offering care once a month from a church basement or a large multiple practitioner facility with substantial budgets. So these are some of the sixty AMUN free clinics promos that have happened in the last four years in two thousand and seventeen alone Eamonn provided over thirty free clinic in three thirty free clinics in communities across the country and we are now getting invitations to go global. American Samoa course in Bernardino which is my backyard and Tacoma Washington which are clinics that are happening the same weekend in November this year of course we have the affiliate free clinics your best pathway to health many of us who participated in this org with this organization I'm in charge of. The dental department this year in Arizona and I'm realizing what an incredible overwhelming production that this is so there's a lot of downsides and you know if it if we focused on the downsides we wouldn't do anything. For. The clinics are quick fix expense limited budgets depth of need is overwhelming many of us have you know these clinics have to turn patients away because the need is just so great finding care providers to volunteer yaller you're all familiar with the chaos that could happen in the flow of a free clinic the long lines demanding providers you guys are demanding right lack of materials lack of privacy medical records and reasonable expectations doing what I want to do instead of what the patient means that happens. Limited provision of services licensure local law professional competition malpractise is always a concern travel time additions logistics media materials and equipment I.T. hospital support venue and of course what about follow up so we'll look at a few points on how free clinics affect the community and there's a lot of information on this this line but in two thousand and sixteen the National Association of Free and charitable clinics reported the statistics regarding the demand of free clinics and financial challenges they face. And I want you to focus there on this slide where it says See there we go forty percent there's a forty percent increase in demand of services from free and charitable clinics and that paragraph and anything I want you to see there it talks about how the average operating budget for most clinics across the United States they're free and charitable is about one hundred thousand and I just want you to know that that is not what a man free clinics budget is so I'll share that little leader with you and hopefully you'll get a sense of the need of the need that we have of your support. It says In addition patients who utilize the services of free and charitable clinics reduce the burden of our nation's emergency rooms data collected shows that patients are free in terrible clinics utilize emergency rooms less than other uninsured individuals. So we know that we take approximately at least they reported that for every dollar that they get their free and charitable clinics five dollars goes out the door in treatment and services that's very very unequal and probably in many cases not sustainable the break even budget for this year this year for him and clinics was guess what. Four hundred fifty thousand dollars. And next year it's projected to go over one million. Praise the Lord but we need your help. Amun points sixty clinic in a box of sixty that are planned for two thousand and eighteen this year was thirty over thirty next year over sixty of the fifty of the sixty that we've offered to have sixty slots fifty two are already occupied and requested and scheduled so you can tell there's in the my question of is are you willing are you willing to contribute to plan to participate are you willing to host for your church the Cleveland Clinic has a free clinic that's well established and well funded I wish we had their kind of funding right but naturally they can provide and publish clear and definite statistics with ease of what they provide to the community but you may be hard pressed to find long term statistics associated with our temporary short term clinics that type of book work demands its own funding. Our faith based clinics have the potential to fall into the numbers trap we like to be able to report how many we treated how much money was provided in services exciter and this is important because membership means to know what's going on and they want to make sure that in order for funding to continue to want to make sure that they have that it's going to the right places and it's meeting the right need but we're called to measure effectiveness and success differently right. Reaching a soul for Christ should be our measuring stick. This is how much they provide to the community just. Believe it is last year two thousand and sixteen eight hundred eight point seven million dollars in services to their community what a blessing. I've often thought that one of our clinics OK so I extracted a tooth How's this patient How's this patient's life different now I'm sure many of you have thought the same thing. So if I get this patient to live longer great but for what and as a church we know how to extend life don't wait. We also know why it's important to extend life. So one of the most important we all know one of the most important ways to impact a patient's life in the end the community they live in is to get them to consider lifestyle changes and we've seen documentaries like forts over nighest fact sick in the early dead. What the health recently our emphasis on lifestyle initiatives makes us unique and we need to recognize that because there's a myriad of C. safety net free clinics in the United States and even the faith based ones are not actively evangelizing or sharing I participated in those and it's just a humanitarian clinic so the concept of faith based free clinics Well let's just say we didn't invent that we certainly haven't perfected it and we haven't been around long enough as some of the other faith based organizations as I mentioned some of the face by a faith based free clinics are actually right in the community church all the time just like a food bank which is kind of a strong and effective way to establish a free clinic because there's no mystery about the sort of intentions to impact a community of service but if it's a more short term free clinic like our Amen free clinics or like pathways by holding it in a church it's simply a great way to connect the community to that church and this is the way we did it in Nevada Tennessee California for example attendees to free clinics held in large convention centers by comparison or large venues don't had that that are not inside a church have unique challenges but they're not insurmountable so patients are pointed to go to one of our churches nearest to their residence to get lab results or follow up referrals which were obtained in the free clinic their first encounter with the church in their community was where it was in their free clinic that's why it's important I don't want to say too much about networking all of us know the value of friendship evangelism and of course we know that free clinics are a great way to to develop that that relationship this word community. To being the being of. It has become such a huge catchphrase it's often synonymous with the word church right in annoys me to no end that that church has somehow the word church has become negative right now we're a community of faith. Today however many use this word but in the following context the etymology of Adam ology. The word community is common unity. These days the only times a community comes together and common unity is for some tragedy. Some natural disaster some political agenda Sandy Hook Kalamazoo Boston Aurora all of these are strong strong strong were all in all were only always strong after the disaster the tragedy has struck. So where's the Asti a church strong in the community. What about coming together for healing true healing How about preempting all of these disasters in these tragedies which we all know are going to increase as time progresses and strengthening the community in something around something positive like health and pulling them to Hilo who can heal and save to the uttermost. Our common unity unity should be Christ and our wedge. Medical Mission or. What about the effect of free clinics on the provider there's an incredible blessing and feeling that comes from providing services to people who couldn't otherwise afford it I think all of us have felt that free clinics are perfect way to practice the pure medical art not for personal gain not to pay a bill but without the pressures of schedules and insurances and material overhead just providing the best treatment available for each patient how about broadening your worldview. When you're stuck in your eight to five routine got to remember our church is a global church with a global few and a global reach right when you're stuck in your eight eight to five nine five whatever that might be day in day out same office same office smell you guys know what I'm talking about that smell you smell a soon as you open that door your work. And the scene it becomes your world view right you get through the day you hop in your beautiful B.M.W. turn on N.P.R. And if that's so you know the station you choose then you get to pressure the what you hear and you go home free clinics help us remember why we went into our profession to take care of people and point them to Christ free clinics help us to go beyond the margins of our little world our office our hospital and take care of people in a seemingly distant world but sometimes they're just down the street from where you live and where you work. When it comes to specialty care or elective medical dental care we find the amount of patients with Access grows exponentially free clinics allow us to bridge the gap to a certain extent giving someone something they couldn't otherwise access creates a beautiful wedge that we can easily use to point patients to Christ for me free clinics takes away that awkward mass of interactions with the indigent that I have you might not have. That uneasy feeling that you get when you're when you're pumping gas and then out of your periphery someone is approaching you and you know what's coming right because in a free clinic we're not dealing with money we're dealing with services again a perfect wage. In ministry of healing she writes by all that has given us advantage over another be it education and refinement nobility of character Christian training religious experience we are in debt to those less favorite and so so far as lies in our power we are to minister to them if we are strong we are if we are strong we are to stand the hands up of the weak. What about the provider affected again giving the staff a broader view it's not just you often at these free clinics I see providers bring their staff right assistance free clinics are perfect opportunity for us as care providers to show how to make your faith take action the Ardsley Reaper scenario you surround yourself with many of whom are not Christian or may not be Christian may know that you are Christian but have never wished witnessed you outside of the work setting in daily living and what Christianity translates into. Free clinics can be that platform a place where they can see you purposefully pray with patients give them literature talk about spiritual things this can also wedge can can also be a way should talk about spiritual things with your staff. Implementor vote sions at work in your practice right and your staff love going to free clinics at least mine that I've taken to they love it they even love it when you pay them to go to free clinics right but you know it's OK to withhold that paycheck because when they don't get paid to do that they understand get a deeper sense of what sacrifices and being being satisfied with and contend with where they are and understanding that there's always someone who has it worse than they are so that's it's acceptable to withhold that check. Now let's look at the effect of free clinics on the Christian provider. And ministry of healing when one of five point five She says many feel that it would be a great privilege to visit the scenes of Christ life on Earth and many of us have had that opportunity right to go to the to where he has tried and to look upon the lake which he lived to teach and the hills in the valleys on which his eyes so often rested but we need not go to Nazareth to Capernaum or Bethany in order to walk the steps of Jesus we shall find his footprints beside the sick bed in the halls of poverty in the crowded alleys of the great cities and in every place where there is work where there are human hearts in the of consolation. Don't forget that you are just a tool in his hands it seems like we tend to forget that the further we are removed from our education right because in dental school in medical school in P.T. school in nursing school you are like yes I'm an instrument I'm instrument but you're saying the things you're saying the right things because it feels right in you young and you have all this energy and then life happens right and then all of a sudden you start forgetting when you are the boss you start forgetting that you are still an instrument and when you have people at your beck and call whenever you say jump they ask how high it's easy to forget that you're still an instrument in a free clinic helps us to remember that we are still servants at the beck and call of God because our clinics are faith based we can unabashedly be spiritual in our care we're still respectful of other faiths but we are also not apologetic about manifesting the love of Christ and that's the difference between our clinics and humanitarian clinics so we need to recognize that at a free clinic God brings them to mean I don't have to go to them what a blessing how easy is that and there's no hesitation for me to pray hand out literature bring up spiritual conversation at a free clinic many of the patients not only expect that they appreciate it. As a Christian provider this free clinic could be a way that you can bring your from cation directly into support a church in that community it may not be your church but you're helping to make a name for the church in the community which is also very important you know there may soon be a day there will soon be kidding there will soon be a day when our faith as seventy Irish is brought to the forefront our fundamental beliefs will be publicly scrutinized especially in the media we all know how strong the media has become and how negative in issues like this huge animal but at that time when our faith is being to write it in my heart and a patient who you may have treated at one of our free clinics will likely have some recollection of a loving nurse a therapist a physician a dentist someone that provided very generous treatment and sincere prayer of one of our clinics and they might think but you know I've been to save only done me good. And he showed me a lot of they showed me a Christianity is all about. That patient was a pretty administers whom you may to your surprise find in Heaven star in your crown who knows you may be that care providers show we see the value in identifying ourselves now and we don't be we don't need to be coy about it open up your mouth and say I am a Seventh Day Adventists Christian and I am going to take care of you today at this free clinic can a free clinic help me understand as a Christian provider unmerited favor in a deeper sense providing a patient with the best care you can provide at the time who didn't earn it can't pay for and likely doesn't understand or fully appreciate all the sacrifice involved in obtaining it does this sound familiar to you. It helps us also to flex the right arm of the Gospel in testimonies volume seven she says medical missionary work is the right hand of the Gospel we're familiar with this it is necessary to the advancement of the Cause of God as through it men and women are led to see the importance of right habits of living the saving power and of truth of the truth will be made known through it. Work with a heart filled with an earnest longing for souls do medical missionary work thus you will gain access and this is key right here this is why we do free clinics as you will gain access to the hearts of the people but you got to say something you got to open your mouth. And the way will be prepared for more decided for more decided proclamation of the truth welfare ministry fifty seven and fifty eight What about the effect of free clinics on the church it's an opportunity to make an impression on the community opportunity for the pastor to tag team with members of the church who are providers or a broader support opportunity for church members non-medical as well the tag team with to tag team with medical missionaries how many churches in your very own community I remember growing up in Grand Rapids Michigan there was witches Christian Reform Church central Dutch Christian Reform Church central there was a church on every block every corner there was a church and I don't remember one time in my twenty three years in Grand Rapids growing up that they did such a thing as a free clinic or a fair or or maybe my mind of somewhere else but I don't recall I don't recall anything like that with a man clinic in a box we all need to if you haven't seen this video this is a great opportunity you can google I searched about three or four different ways yesterday and they were all unsuccessful but if you just Google clinic dash in dash a dash box on Google and then search down through the image OK search the image. Images for this this name search you can click on this icon it'll show you straight over to a very male video and it will give you a nutshell of what clinic in a box is so you can bring this to your church OK for a nominal fee. But it is very effective portable tool that that a man has produced. What about the Church of fact again this is an excellent opportunity to heal this rift that we have had patients between doctors and and physician doctors and pastors or physicians and pastors or medical personnel and Pastor This is how we can come together I remember at one of our pathway events I remember I just remember in the whole thing all I could see was over Finley weaving in and out of the lines praying with people just while they were waiting for their their treatment it's an excellent way to plug in the pastor. I want to point you to this. Writing in red where it says in Mitt in ministry in the ministry of the word and in the medical missionary work the gospel is to be preached and practiced so together it's what she says and ministry of healing one forty four point three. As as a church we are pretty strong in putting on health fairs just Google Health expos and or fairs and you will find all kinds of flyers and most of them are ours our administration health fairs so our Remember when I was preaching in the advent of hope in Loma Linda. Savage school and I was talking about medical missionary work and I said you know Helen White said that you are either a missionary or you are a mission field and I had a friend sitting in the front who's looking at me going. She said. And so I had to backtrack and I thought man she should have said that he. It sounds like she would say so what she did say was every cheery disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary So there you have it every member is a missionary and you know non-medical non dental church members can also be missionaries there's no excuse for an activity we need I T We need people with the Ministry of experience so on and so forth and it's a good place for church members to develop their their their walk with Christ to do what he did with their hands and and here's another salient point especially in an age where a church has taken such a steep divide on issues that what I have seen and experienced and our clinics is that this is something we can argue till you're blue in the face about fill in the blank. But when it comes to free clinics it seems like everyone can sort of agree that this is something good and that this is something that we need to be doing the very first free clinic I went to I thought to myself Why haven't we been doing this how is this how is this coming to to the forefront where we're doing this more regularly now why why has this not been going on for that it's only and at least in my experience in the last seven years that it's not even that I've seen this happening more for more and more effectively but it never happened for me in the two thousands I was in a health care I was a provider and in the ninety's but never seen anything like this happen so. And finally I. Want to talk about its effectiveness for other factors that affect them as a free clinics on patients. So the data this data published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute in two thousand and fourteen shows a number of individuals who remain uninsured under the AC. Across the country and we all know that they see is not universal care and regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on regarding a C.A.A. where you hang your hat we can all agree that on this side of eternity in this country that man made health care will always fall short. And there will always be a need to address. Most patients are fully aware of how expensive an inaccessible medical dental and I care can be. So we are not surprised to get these seemingly exaggerated expressions of appreciation when they receive care one of our free clinics we all know that the benefits of a thankful spirit and the importance of giving thanks we don't always get a pat on the back sometimes we want to pat on the back at these free clinics but that's not why we're there right the once you do give you a pat on the back boy they really do it out don't they and of course my my training is dentistry so. So we know course that these demonstrations of appreciation are very beneficial for us and they carry us through some dark moments. It's true I mean we you had your dentist who prevented suicide we know that in dentistry hey if you're coming at all your patients with a needle guess what's going to happen there's going to be a confrontation there just is and so we have to be confrontational as we have to know how to manage that with love and with deference. Since its inception four years ago over thirty thousand patients have been treated by over twenty thousand volunteers in a men free clinics I have a bias toward the dental statistics but I'll defer right now to the optometrists who have provided over two hundred fifteen thousand dollars worth in prescription eye care her eyeglasses this year alone in our clinics that's not the Patterson's on the back or to pat them on the back right each one of those eyeglasses should have been a way. Right and if we disagree disregard that responsibility then we are just a humanitarian organization. So a patient needs to know that someone really truly cares. That they're not just shelling out money for your bottom end but that that you really truly care free clinics has gives you an opportunity to do this she says your ministry of healing one hundred forty three point four accompanied by the already this whole this whole of this is an excellent quote There is need of coming close to people with personal by personal effort if last time were given the sermonizing and more time were get were spent in personal ministry greater results would be seen the poor would be relieved the sick would be cared for the sorrowing in the be relieved comforted the ignorant instructed the inexperienced counsel we are to weep with those that weeping rejoice with those or that rejoice accompanied by the power of persuasion the power of prayer the power of prayer the power of the love of God This work will not and cannot be without Through many people come to a free clinic battling with self-worth self-esteem you know and receiving this very exclusive expensive treatment often comes with a shot in the arm and that shot is a shot of self-esteem you are worth it you are valuable in my sight and in the sight of God We can also see how that self esteem doesn't just stay with the patients but it has a ripple effect. I want to again she says in the Gospel workers one hundred eighty four point through one hundred eighty four point three one so is of infinite value just one many have no faith in God and have lost confidence in men but they appreciate this is very specific to what we do but they appreciate acts of sympathy and helpfulness as they see one with no inducement of earthly praise or compensation come into their homes ministering to the sick feeding the hungry clothing the naked comforting the sad and tenderly pointing all to him whose love and pity the human worker is but a messenger and as they see this their hearts are touched gratitude springs that faith is kindled they see that God cares for them and that they are and they are prepared to listen as his word is opened. Him and free clinics generates approximately one hundred seventy five to two hundred Bible study interests or spiritual contacts and distributes approximately seventy five to one hundred pieces of literature per clinic. So in a free clinic we're encouraged encouraged we're to encourage the sick and suffering and point them to Jesus point them to the one who can heal both physical and spiritual disease encourage them to take place to place themselves in the care of him who gave his life to make it possible for them to have eternal life talk of his love tell of his power to save ministry of healing one forty four point one. In a free clinic and in all your work remember that you are bound up with Christ a part of the great plan of redemption the love of Christ and healing life giving current has to flow through your life as you seek to draw others within the circle of love let the purity of your language the unselfishness of your service the joyfulness of your demeanor bear witness to the power of His grace and give the word the world so pure and righteous a representation of him that men shall behold Him in His beauty. I want to call Wesley white up here. He has a pretty interesting testimony here which is not isolated to this beautiful congregation that you see on the slide I don't know I think then well thank you all right so can you tell us how you're associated with a man Yes well in the past I have my first and then consciousness two years ago and at that time I was the literature ministries director for the Nevada Utah conference and we had and then she called Dr were a group of young people were going to different areas different churches for nine month periods doing comprehensive health ministry and evangelism in those areas that's how I first connected with him then and now I actually work part time point all right so this is a picture of on the screen here of the lovely congregation tell us who they are can you tell us where this is located Yes This located this kind of geisha is located in Ogden Utah I've been in Utah All right so tell us how this church established growth using a name and free clinic What was the sequence of events I was there was there fairs was there you know just our clinic was there an evangelistic series on it so yeah so first of all the church there nodding committed to the cycle of vandalism for that year we would do a variety of things including health Expos cooking schools while on in. Home personal health coaching with our team the church also committed to being trained and saying we want we want to learn how to be more effective evangelists and specifically health evangelists and so we train the church as well how to go out and meet the community how to coach individuals want to want to better their health to simple simple means and we did a variety of these follow up or these prevents like couldn't schools health Expos training the church and a variety of other things to prepare for in a man clinic we had a man clinic fortunately by God's grace about four hundred fifteen people came out and we do something very very unique we actually had a flier for the clinic but on the back about a flyer we had on there the advertisement for the evangelist experience and then to six years was also unique in that it was not simply a prophecy series or Revelation seven Our it was entitled forever healthy revelation secret to a better life now and so it was surrounded by health as well as we were able to tie in the Gospel to our message of the word so when people when we went around passing out flyers for our clinic or for the clinic and for the evangelist meeting passed out flyers and they look at us are doing the clinic to or you guys did the clinic we heard about that was in the paper and they were more apt to say oh this is interesting I want to check out what you're doing at the church as well and so it was a very unique tie in at the clinic we were able to gather one hundred ninety Bible study and health coaching contacts from the people that came and so many people were interested not only being just relieved from their pain right then of the Clinical the dental or vision or otherwise they wanted further spiritual services afterward they were able to help them so sure how did how did this church congregation grow from that event yeah we had a series of meetings and by God's grace fifty people were baptized. And so is this Do you feel that this is a unique like like what we would call in medicine as zebra alone standing example of what can happen no I think you have to also we've got to get other clinics would thrive in Las Vegas and Reno Nevada with with similar results God bless the church has to be committed though to to be a part of this ministry and being a comprehensive long term process where we are reaching the needs of the people on a consistent basis not only just a one flash in the pan as only we do that comprehensive approach God blesses in amazing ways and thank us and. There you have it so our free clinic you know Christ stands before us as a pattern man the great medical missionary an example for all who should come after you know when Christ feel there was never worry about a follow up Amen. Or you need to follow up you need to follow it the worry about that. Christ was a servant and yet he is my master right making me his servant. He himself said in John thirteen sixteen The servant is in are greater than his master then how is it that I cannot serve I believe in the validity and the effectiveness of free clinics they reflect positively on our church. They disseminate that little truth and they bring souls to the foot of the cross including mine. Are you willing this morning to consider free clinics as part of your service to God Are you willing to bring a free clinic to your church or support one near you or support this arm of aim and are you willing let's pray. Father in heaven in these few minutes I have tried to flesh out just this specific way of ministering which you have through your servant and through your word identified as a key way to reach individuals for the kingdom and I pray Father that those here in attendance who have heard this message would be touched by your Holy Spirit to be involved in one way or another ten fold him in free clinics or pathways or or any one of these venues that would provide them the opportunity of the medical missionaries that she would bless their efforts and that your kingdom would be enlarged by that Halford we hope that you come sooner we pray for that day but until that day me find us working in in the trenches to work with the broken with the destitute reaching them free you thank you again for this this opportunity to share in these things we pray and thank Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about. It you would like to listen to more sermon leave it.


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