Moore Free & Charitable Clinic, a nonprofit medical provider for the low income uninsured of Moore County, recognized one of its co-founders, retired physician Dr. David Bruton, at its annual Hearts and Hands event on Feb. 2, at the Grand Ballroom in the Carolina Hotel.
The ‘Above and Beyond Award’ was presented to Bruton in appreciation for his advocacy for health care for the underserved and for his dedication to the Clinic over more than 15 years. This award is presented annually to an employee, volunteer or supporter who goes the extra mile to help the Clinic fulfill its mission of providing health care to the low income insured of Moore County, with compassion and respect.
Bruton spearheaded the organization of the Clinic in 2004, when volunteer providers started seeing patients in space lent by the Moore County Health Department. He served as its medical director for several years and remains active as a board member and trusted advisor.
“Last year the Clinic saw 1,611 unique patients and delivered or referred patients for medical services worth $23 million,” said Moore Clinic CEO Tony Price, presenting the award to Bruton. “But there is more work to do. We will continue to expand our ability to serve even more of our less fortunate neighbors, thanks to the generosity of this community.”
“Dr. Bruton, along with his amazing partner in life, Frieda, has been our guiding star to get us to this point,” Price added.
Nicole Lamoureaux, CEO of the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, presented the event’s keynote address.
She noted that nonprofits like Moore Free & Charitable Clinic are often left out of the health care political debate, but they provided services to over 2 million patients in the U.S. last year, 83% of whom are members of a working household. Charitable clinics help keep the uninsured and undocumented healthier and reduce the burden on emergency departments.
Lamoureaux also spoke movingly about how supporting health care for the underserved is simply following the Golden Rule and the wisdom of her 95-year old Nonna— “be grateful, be present and always care for others.”
It is estimated that nearly 14,000 Moore County residents go without health insurance. Many of those have no access to insurance through their jobs and cannot afford to buy it on the marketplace. The MFCC fills the primary care gap, assisting mostly adults between 18 and 64 years — the age groups largely left uncovered by federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The Moore Free and Charitable Care Clinic is accredited by the North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC). Currently, the clinic is building out additional space and later this year will double its footprint to 7,000 square feet at its location on Trimble Plant Road in Southern Pines.
For more information on Moore Free & Charitable Clinic visit www.moorefreecare.org.