Inner City Health Center Helps Patients Other Clinics Refuse To See

May 1, 2019

By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4)Inner City Health Center has served the Denver area since 1983, but many have never heard of it. Its office is tucked away at 38th and York, filled with patients other places have refused to see.

“These patients have been turned away at some other clinics, so they’re grateful we take them in. We don’t care about citizenship or insurance. We see whatever,” said Dr. Vance Mason.

The OB/GYN has volunteered his time at ICHC every Wednesday for the last 17 years.

Inner City Health Center is a private nonprofit that offers medical, dental and behavioral health services to nearly 8,000 people every year. Over 90% of their patients are minorities or immigrants, and the waiting room Wednesday reflected that diversity. Most have no health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.

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“Even with Affordable Care Act there’s a high percentage of people who are not eligible for any insurance. Either they can’t afford private insurance or many immigrants aren’t eligible for any of the state sponsored plans,” explained Ann Fairbairn, registered nurse and head of INCH’s Prenatal Program.

Fairbairn has guided expected mothers in need at ICHC for 24 years. Their providers will see patients at any point in their pregnancy, that’s something Fairbairn says every clinic won’t allow.

“You can read things in the newspaper, you can hear things on TV, but you don’t know the desperate situations people are in until you sit down and talk to them,” said Fairbairn, “We provide quality medical care at as low of a cost as we possibly can.”

ICHC provides over $1.3 million in uncompensated patient care, but with a new center in Wheat Ridge, the charity budget is running low. Employees have taken pay cuts so more funds can be allocated to patients, simply because they are worth it.

“A little bit of health care here goes a long way toward keeping you healthy the rest of your life,” said Mason.

Not everyone can donate their expertise like Mason, but ICHC says whatever the community is willing to give will help more than they know.

Donations can be made to Inner City Health Center, 3800 York St, Denver, CO 80205 or through their website.

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