Northwest Arkansas Free Health Center renamed ‘WelcomeHealth’

WelcomeHealth, located at 1100 N. Woolsey Ave. in Fayetteville

Courtesy photo

Fayetteville-based free and affordable healthcare provider Northwest Arkansas Free Health Clinic has a new name.

Officials recently announced the nonprofit clinic is now called WelcomeHealth.

According to Monika Fischer-Massie, executive director for the organization, the new name better reflects the clinic’s mission following changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“We felt that our previous name created a misconception in the community that we were simply a place for the uninsured to receive free care,” Fischer-Massie said. “Truth is, we provide medical services for that group as well as for the fully insured, including those who face challenges meeting co-pays, deductibles and other ancillary charges.”

Fischer Massie said that while ACA has made health care more accessible for thousands of area families who were previously uncovered, the cost of monthly insurance premiums, prescriptions and co-pays means many still cannot afford basic medical services.

“We’re here for anyone who is looking for quality health care, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay,” Fischer-Massie said. “The name ‘WelcomeHealth’ better communicates why we exist.”

Opened in 1986, the center provides a number of services, from primary care and prescriptions to specialties such as dental, pulmonology, women’s health, mental health and more.

Fischer-Massie said the clinic records about 12,000 patient visits annually. The medical staff is made up of about 30 healthcare professionals, most of whom are volunteers.

“None if this would be possible without the kindness of volunteers and the generosity of donors and corporate sponsors who provide financial help. Thanks to them, many of our neighbors are leading healthy–and thus productive–lives,” she said.

WelcomeHealth is located at 1100 N. Woolsey Ave. near the VA Medical Center and the UAMS Northwest campus.

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