WILKES-BARRE — With 2,000 patients on the rolls, the Wilkes-Barre Free Clinic needs someone to run the place, but the salary isn’t much — in fact, the successful candidate must be a volunteer.
The clinic, located at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 35 S. Franklin St., is open Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays, usually 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Run entirely by volunteers, three of the key players got together recently to talk about the clinic and its needs.
Roxie Jones and Judy Spitale, retired registered nurses, and Pat Williams, who handles scheduling and many other duties, said the clinic needs an office manager to handle the administrative duties.
The clinic goes back to 1997 and has had a few locations, but it has settled in for the last 10 years at St. Stephen’s where it occupies rent-free space that includes examining rooms, a dental room, a social work area and a pharmacy.
But the three women said they need a person who can do scheduling, coordinate volunteers, seek grants and other funding, order equipment, ensure medications are stocked and policies, procedures and licenses are current.
“Basically, we need a person to keep track of everything,” Williams said. “We need someone to handle the non-medical issues; someone to be an administrator.”
Because of the large number of patients, Jones said, appointments must be made.
“We could see 20 to 30 patients each night just for medications,” she said. “We have a pool of about 60 volunteers and we have always been able to meet the needs of our clients.”
In addition to the medical clinic, St. Stephen’s also offers a clothes closet and a food bank to people in need.
Spitale said the clinic provides preventive care measures.
“We try to keep them out of the emergency rooms,” she said.
The clinic utilizes students from Wilkes University, King’s College and Misericordia University. The clinic volunteers include physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, dentists, clinicians and others.