Phoenix Free Clinic Gets Financial Boost From Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund
Imagine a free clinic in a major city that not only provides medical care for the poor, but does so at a level of quality that is superior to that of most mainstream clinics and private practice medical facilities.
That’s what PACH (Phoenix Alliance for Community Health) has been able to accomplish since it was established to offer free medical care to immigrants, the working poor, or anyone who can’t afford to pay for medical help.
PACH is a nonprofit organization operated by an all-volunteer staff including doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, lab technicians, physical therapists and more – all of whom donate their time and skills to bring medical aid and comfort to people with no means of paying.
PACH has proven to be lifesaving haven for immigrants in Phoenix working at low-paying jobs and facing the daily uncertainty of nonlegal residence status. But one does not have to be an undocumented worker to be treated by PACH professionals. The group accepts any person who has no financial options for medical care. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
PACH staff serve about 30 to 40 patients per week and currently list more than 400 permanent clients. These are people who need ongoing care for such chronic conditions as diabetes and kidney disease, to high blood pressure and thyroid dysfunction.
The amazing work of PACH has attracted the attention and support of the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund. This is a program founded by two Arizona journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The Frontera Fund provides financial support mostly to groups that serve the Latino and immigrant community, including the thousands of undocumented workers eking out an existence in Arizona.
The Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund was established with $3.7 million – money which came from a lawsuit Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey successfully brought against Arizona’s Maricopa County.
In 2007, then Sheriff Joe Arpaio illegally arrested Larkin and Lacey simply because he did not like stories the journalists were publishing – articles that exposed the brutal and unconstitutional police tactics of Arpaio and his department.
A U.S. Court of Appeals quickly agreed that Arpaio had egregiously violated the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which guarantees freedom of the press.
There is some irony that money gained from a corrupt, anti-immigrant police official is now helping poor immigrants and undocumented workers live better lives in the United States.