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Athletico Supports Community with Free Clinic

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In early 2012, Athletico clinicians and support staff took an extra step to improve the lives of Chicagoland citizens by providing cost-effective physical and occupational therapy to those in need. Athletico ACT, which stands for Athletico Community Therapy, has dedicated every third Saturday of the month to be onsite at Erie Medical Center on North and California in Chicago from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. During this time, Athletico clinicians and support staff volunteer their time and talents to provide free physical therapy services.

Athletico’s Kyla Gallas, PT, Portage Park/Six Corners, share some insight into this great initiative.

Volunteers at Athletico Community Therapy

Volunteers at Athletico Community Therapy

What is the goal of Athletico’s Free Clinic?
ACT provides Athletico’s personalized progressive care in a warm and welcoming atmosphere to the community. We work together in a selfless manner to improve the lives of the community.

Who can go to the Free Clinic?
Patients with a referral from Erie Medical MDs or Physician Assistants. Patients without insurance can go, and these are either self-pay patients or those on Public Aid.

How was the Free Clinic started?
A former patient of mine is a physician assistant, and she introduced me to the Medical Director of Erie. We wanted to be able to help improve the lives of those people in need of physical therapy services who may not have insurance or are on public aid. Our staff works the Free Clinic on strictly a volunteer basis.

What has the experience been like volunteering to work at the Free Clinic?
My colleague, Alberto Segura, Jr. PT, DPT, who has donated numerous hours to this clinic sums it up best. “I love giving time to ACT. First, there’s the challenge: I get this set amount of time to summon my skills to make the biggest impact I can on someone’s life, knowing that we may only get a short time together. It helps keep me sharp for wherever else I practice. Second, there’s the duty. I feel that when I became a healthcare provider, I agreed to fill a need in society. That I can’t always be compensated for that is irrelevant; somehow, that need must be filled. Third, it just FEELS good to help people out!”

How can patients or employees get involved if they would like to help?
All employees can volunteer by contacting our corporate office.

How many patients have you treated?
The Free Clinic volunteers have treated 120 patients since February 2012.

What can a patient expect to get out of the Free Clinic?
The treatment works like an injury screening. This is essentially a 20-30 min assessment of the condition followed by instruction both written and verbal instruction.

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