Amarillo’s free clinic, Heal the City, making big changes amid COVID-19 pandemic

KFDA Video: Heal the City

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Heal the City is making big changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but these changes are something they are excited about.

Before COVID-19, between 80 to 150 new patients would have to wait in a long line outside of Heal the City on Mondays to be seen, but starting June 15, new patients will no longer have to stand outside in the cold or heat.

“We have now changed that to be safe for the line that would stand outside for hours. This has brought a good time for change for us. You can call, sometimes you’ll have to leave a message, but a nurse or a triage team will call you back to get you scheduled for an appointment to be seen here, to get established as a patient,” said Chelsea Stevens, executive director for Heal the City.

“Everything by appointment. Everything, like lab work, pharmacy, everything is by appointment,” said Perla Erives, clinic operations manager for Heal the City.

The clinic is meant to serve those who do not have medical insurance and provides services at no cost.

“The patients that are coming in, we are their last hope in health care. Some of these patients haven’t seen a doctor in 10, 20 years, and they don’t have any meds, and they have a chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure. The changes that happen in those rooms, you know, it’s not just health care, they are praying for these patients, they actually care for these patients,” said Erives.

Established patients can be apart of the group called Shalom, where they have access to even more.

“When you are in Shalom, you have access to resources that are established here, so vision, dental, and then we have a food program. That’s for patients who are food insecure, are able to access frozen meals, and are able to get food staples from a market,” said Stevens.

The market has also changed from a grab and go market to a more convenient style.

“Now it’s like a drive through, so they order online the options that they want, and then that’s packaged and delivered straight to their car,” said Stevens.

Wellness programs are also available at no cost for established patients.

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