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October 25, 2013

UVA, Dr. Mohan Nadkarni honored for helping uninsured patients

The University of Virginia and UVA physician Dr. Mohan Nadkarni have been honored by the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics for their work to provide healthcare to uninsured Virginians.

Nadkarni, co-founder of the Charlottesville Free Clinic , was recognized as the group’s Physician Volunteer Champion , while UVA was recognized as one of two Institution of Higher Learning Champions .

Expanding services for the uninsured

Nadkarni started the Charlottesville Free Clinic with fellow UVA medical resident Dr. Paul DeMarco in 1992 after an uninsured friend was unable to get needed care for a heart infection. As co-founder, Nadkarni played an important role in raising money, finding the clinic’s original home on West Main Street and setting up operations.

Nadkarni has remained involved for more than 20 years, said executive director Erika Viccellio, including as a physician volunteer, a major donor, chief recruiter, chair of our medical advisory committee, board member and community spokesperson. “You name it, Mo has done it to be sure that the Charlottesville Free Clinic is thriving and remaining true to its vision of ‘an open door to healthcare for our neighbors in need,’” Viccellio said.

The clinic has grown steadily over the past 20 years, adding services and serving an increasing number of patients. In fiscal year 2012, the clinic cared for 3,300 patients during 9,000 visits and offers medical and dental care along with health and wellness programs and a pharmacy that filled more than 30,000 prescriptions.

“I am proud that we have been able to provide high-quality healthcare to over 18,000 patients who otherwise may not have received care at all,” Nadkarni said. “I’m also proud that we have been able to expose so many volunteers to the genuine needs of the working poor and uninsured who live in our own backyard.”

Supporting free clinics in Central Virginia

One of the key supporters of the Charlottesville Free Clinic has been UVA Medical Center , which provides thousands of dollars in lab services each year for the clinic. Faculty and students from the UVA School of Medicine and UVA School of Nursing have also provided thousands of volunteer hours at Central Virginia free clinics and to Mission of Mercy dental events throughout Virginia.

“The work of the clinics could not be accomplished without dedicated medical and nursing volunteers,” wrote Linda D. Wilkinson, CEO of the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, in a letter congratulating UVA on its award. “Thank you again for providing an education to generations of doctors and nurses, along with the passion and importance of giving back to their communities.”

“As a public, nonprofit health system, our responsibilities include ensuring all Virginians can access the care they need,” said R. Edward Howell, vice president and CEO of UVA Medical Center. “We’re proud to partner with the Charlottesville Free Clinic and other groups to provide these vital services.”

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