Rehabilitation clinic for uninsured opens in Provo

Dr. Rick Nielsen, president of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Utah County Commissioner Gary Anderson and Provo Mayor John Curtis chat before a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Community Rehabilitation Clinic in Provo on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. The new facility will offer physical rehabilitation services for uninsured individuals. SPENSER HEAPS, Daily Herald

The first-of-its-kind in Utah County, a new pro bono clinic designed to serve the indigent, uninsured and underserved officially opened Thursday.

The Community Rehabilitation Clinic, founded by the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Foundation, will provide rehabilitation therapy care to uninsured people who have sustained injuries or who suffer from complications due to age or disability.

There’s an abundance of underresourced or underserved people in our community who don’t have the means to get the care they need, said Dr. Richard Nielsen, founding president of RMUoHP.

Often these people lose employment opportunities because they aren’t able to function completely. The goal of the clinic is to help restore that functionality and improve their quality of life while making them more productive in society, he said.

In order to be seen at the clinic, patients must have a need, must pay a small fee and must be committed to receiving treatment. Those who have insurance are not eligible to be treated at the clinic, Nielsen said.

The clinic is not for profit and relies on investments of time from Utah County physical therapists and donations from the community. For every four hours physical therapists volunteer each month, they’re able to audit one course at RMUoHP for free, Nielsen said. The clinic is currently staffed by RMUoHP faculty. Early next year, RMUoHP students will be able to volunteer at the clinic through an optional Service Learning course.

Located in the Mountainlands Family Health Center in Provo, the clinic is a collaborative effort between the RMUoHP Foundation, The United Way of Utah County, Mountainlands Family Health Center, Community Health Connect and Intermountain Healthcare. Each partnering organization acts as a referral agency for patient care and promotion of the clinic.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, RMUoHP foundation director Vic Morris said the overall goal of the clinic is to help make people whole.

Before now, there hasn’t been a facility where uninsured people could receive care such as this, he said. The clinic has plans to expand into other healthcare disciplines in the upcoming years, including occupational therapy and speech and language pathology.

The CRC is located at 587 South State Street in Provo. For more information, visit rmuohp.edu.

Keri Lunt Stevens covers Community & Business News in Utah County. Contact her at (801) 344-2556, kstevens@heraldextra.com and on Twitter: @keriinreallife

Keri Lunt Stevens covers Community News in Utah County.

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