Schenectady Free Health Clinic to close at summer's end - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Schenectady Free Health Clinic to close at summer's end

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- The Schenectady Free Health Clinic will be closing its doors by the end of the summer.

The clinic provides health care and prescriptions to the indigent and uninsured. Executive Director William Spolyar says the 10-year-old clinic, located at 600 Lincoln Avenue, has been constantly struggling to meet its more than $500,000 annual operating cost since state grant funding dried up in 2007.

Much of the money goes to pay for prescription drug expenses, and they say it's just impossible to make it work anymore. The clinic workers, doctors, nurses, and receptionists are all volunteers.

"We were actually receiving up to 50 percent funding from the state, and 50 percent we were raising. What's happened in the last four years is we've had to raise the entire $525,000. It's just become much more difficult to sustain the funding levels," said Spolyar.

All 2,500 patients of the clinic are now going to be moved to Ellis Medicine, Hometown Health Centers, or a provider of their choice.

Ellis Medicine Executive Director James Connolly says they are preparing for a rush of about 2,500 patients currently receiving medical care at the Schenectady Free Health Clinic. Those being transferred to Ellis will still receive free or low-cost health care.

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