Please call M-F between 9 am - 4:30 pm for our clinic and appointment schedule.
1st , 2nd, 3rd & 4th Thursdays of the month, 10-15 patients are seen by appt. only.
Call for an appt. Staff is usually available Mon - Fri, 9am-1pm
(386) 313-5945 fax
About Us: Our Mission
To help meet the healthcare needs of the uninsured residents of Flagler County through the commitment of local volunteers and donations.
History Faith Coleman had no health insurance when she learned she had cancer, but she describes her battle with the illness as "one of the absolute greatest blessings" of her life.
"Having kidney cancer was one of the best things that ever happened to me .... because I can now truly empathize with patients," said Coleman.
That compassion inspired Coleman to start this free clinic in her community to help other uninsured people in need of medical care.
In July 2003, Coleman, a nurse practitioner, learned she had a malignant tumor growing on her right kidney. But as a contract worker for several doctors, she did not receive health insurance. Coleman's treatment totaled about $35,000, and she was forced to take out a mortgage on her house to help pay for it.
"I [fell] through the crack ... and I [had] a great job and a good education," said Coleman, a mother of six.
Realizing that her financial and health woes were not unique, Coleman -- now in remission -- became determined to help those in similar situations access medical treatment.
"I have been given another chance, and I felt that it was important for me to make a difference and to help other people," she said.
So after her recovery in 2004, Coleman approached Dr. John Canakaris. The local physician with 60 years of experience had been treating the indigent population for years. Canakaris was eager to reach more patients in need.
The two worked together to establish the Flagler County Free Clinic in Bunnell, Florida, which provides medical care for the uninsured. It has treated thousands of patients.
The clinic opened its doors in February 2005, with eight volunteers treating eight patients. Since then, it has expanded to over 100 volunteers who see about 80 patients every other weekend. Coleman said she's seen an increase in the number of patients at the clinic, which serves people who meet federal poverty guidelines.
"If you see 100 cars in the parking lot, that's us!" Coleman said, describing how she tells people the way to find the clinic. "We have what I call 'controlled chaos.' It's just busy, busy, busy, go, go, go."
The clinic, which relies on donated funds and volunteers, is not affiliated with any hospitals, Coleman said. The local Rotary Club, churches and private contributions help fund the operation. In addition, physicians volunteer to see patients recommended by the clinic, and an imaging center donates a number of X-rays and CAT scans per month.
Coleman says she and her team generally treat common illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases, but adds "we've also found a lot of cancers." Many diagnoses have led to life-saving treatments. Through the generous donations of ophthalmology equipment, and the volunteer services of ophthalmologists and opticians from our community, we now can offer eye health care as well. Future Goals We have found a huge need for dental services in the County and many of our doctors and staff are eager to add a dental chair and operatory suite to the clinic. As we all know, dental services are expensive, and the equipment is expensive. We have a number of dentists willing to donate their time, but we need to obtain the dental chair and necessary equipment so they can start helping our patients. By adding the dental services, the Flagler County Free Clinic will be able to help meet the basic needs of many patients who in reality may have no hope of acquiring such care otherwise. We welcome donations of dental equipment, chairs, and expertise! Please give generously.
We have experienced a large increase in the need of assistance from individuals with many types of health issues. Sometimes we don't have the resources to assist these patients and, sadly, at times the patient has to leave without a solution. Our goal is to help as many residents as possible, and to encourage other members of our community to extend a helping hand by providing emergency care for residents who are in great need.