BERNSTEINThe volunteer: Dr. Bernstein, a...

DR. RICHARD

January 29, 1995|By Kevin Harrison

DR. RICHARD BERNSTEIN

The volunteer: Dr. Bernstein, a pulmonary specialist, has practiced in Annapolis for more than six years. He developed the idea of establishing a clinic for people who cannot pay for medical care.

After about a year of planning, the clinic opened in September in Light House Shelter in Annapolis.

Volunteer's comment: "We talked with the shelter and thought that it was best to set up there rather than try to have people come to another location.

"I just started talking to people, and there was a lot of support for it.

"What really has been eye-opening for me is probably about 80 percent of the people there have jobs. Most of the people we see are working people and not homeless.

"The clinic does not duplicate services already available to the homeless through existing programs. What we do is set up an entry point into the health care system for people who don't have or know how to get access.

"We have all the equipment we need, we have the doctors, we have the nurses. What we don't have is money to pay for prescriptions. That's where the biggest need is right now.

"I think the physicians who have gone there have benefited, too. I think it works both ways. . . . it's a positive experience to do something, to get involved this way."

About the program: Annapolis Outreach Clinic, in the shelter at 206 West St., is open the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

About 30 to 40 doctors and nurses take turns staffing the facility, and other doctors see patients at their private offices as referrals from the clinic.

The Anne Arundel Medical Center supports the clinic with computer systems and lab facilities. Annapolis Area Ministries Inc., which supports the shelter, also provides funding and support.

To make a donation or inquire about the service, call the Light House Shelter at 263-1835 or Annapolis Area Ministries Inc., 268-0182. Donations should be marked "for prescriptions."

"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To recommend someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911, send information by fax to 315-8916, or mail it to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena 21122.

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