January 4, 2013

Donations will keep free Portland clinic open

In less than a month, the city raises about $90,000 to save the Portland Community Free Health Clinic.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — An outpouring of donations large and small will keep the Portland Community Free Health Clinic open through 2013, Mayor Michael Brennan said Friday.

click image to enlarge

The free clinic at the India Street Public Health Center has been struggling due to cuts in funding.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Mayor Michael Brennan

The clinic, which lost its annual contribution of $210,000 from Mercy Hospital, was expected to run out of funding in March.

In response to the impending closure, the Emanuel and Pauline Lerner Foundation offered a $25,000 challenge grant last month in hopes of keeping the clinic open.

And the community responded.

Brennan said the city has received about $90,000 toward the operation of the clinic at 103 India St., which serves patients who do not qualify for MaineCare but cannot afford to buy insurance or pay for doctor's visits.

"We're at a point where we're no longer in a crisis situation of the clinic closing," Brennan said.

City spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the John T. Gorman Foundation pledged $25,000.

The city received another $25,000 pledge, Clegg said, and many smaller donations from people who were moved by news coverage of the clinic's financial problem.

Staff Writer Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

rbillings@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @randybillings

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