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Noble Health Warrior: How to Open a Non-Profit Medical Clinic

It seems deja vu. As hospitals all over America are starting to feel the pinch of the Delta variant, there’s a growing mad scramble for safety that reminds us of the past year.

The latest state to be caught in such ever-increasing chaos is the state of Florida. Dr. David Wein, an ER physician at Tampa General Hospital, confirms he has never seen a more severe form of COVID-19 outbreak than these days. The number of virus cases per official hospital record is reaching as high as 1,200 on a daily basis.

Of course, it’s common knowledge that over 600,000 Americans have succumbed to the virus since Day 1. What we may fail to realize is that the majority of these deaths come from low-income communities. Not only are poorer families less able to social distance but also their ability to put food on the table is largely compromised.

A study by the Department of Population Health (New York University) in 2020 reveals that high-poverty areas were hit by virus infections nine times more compared to higher-income counties.

Indeed, as a conscientious leader, putting up a non-profit medical clinic can be foremost in your mind right now. That should provide timely intervention for poorer people in need during these trying times.

Take note, however, that like putting up any business, putting up a medical non-profit can be a tall order. That’s reason enough why we’re giving you an expert take on how to get such a noble non-profit off the ground, for the benefit of the less privileged.

Nix Common Myths

There’s a lot of misconceptions about non-profit organizations. To a large degree, you can trace this to the name itself. When people hear the word ‘non-profit’, all they understand is it’s a charity organization that helps the needy but can’t earn a profit as an organization. The first part is true. The second part about not earning profits is not.

Non-profits need to profit to be sustainable. It’s in the best interest of the noble organization to earn income.

But there’s a difference. In traditional businesses, profits go back to their owners while in a non-profit, no one should personally profit. Rather, the profit can be reinvested or translated into service to the people it serves. As for compensation, non-profits give their workers monthly payments. Although, volunteers can also be recruited. If you look closer, as many as 10% of America’s workers work for a non-profit.

Serving Whose Need?

First and foremost, you need to establish who you would like to serve for your non-profit medical clinic? A health clinic’s primary goal is to provide sought-after medical service to a particular community. Thus, you must define what kind of community do you plan to serve.

Are you going urban or rural? Think about it. A good question to guide you is: Where are you needed most? At a time of the virus, that can be a huge question to tackle. Take note that there’s a great need for nurses and doctors in rural areas in America. Fact is, a slew of these rural areas does not have any medical personnel at all. More often than not, patients must drive long hours to reach one.

A good way for you to go about this is to research possible areas where you want to reside. If you’re a medical doctor or someone pursuing an online public health degree, scout around for a great place to set your shop up. In the meantime, you should do your due diligence and look into various local and statewide laws and ordinances that you need to observe when starting a non-profit medical clinic.

However, you may also want to explore telemedicine possibilities. In light of the pandemic, many corporations have set up online intervention centers with great results.

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Draft a Business Plan

You’ll have to do a tremendous amount of planning to ensure you won’t come up short in your implementation. Before you recruit any personnel, you need to come up with a business plan.

Ultimately, you’ll have to staff your clinic with expert clinicians and dependable support staff. That will also depend on the kind of service you’ll be giving. For a telemedicine non-profit business, you may need to employ a medical virtual assistant to keep your business together. A reliable assistant can help you in many aspects of the business: from patient management to social media marketing to admin tasks.

It’s best you know how to make your business stand out. Tackle that in your business plan. It’s important you put things in writing, so they can be discussed with care and improved upon.

Know that there’s just so much need in rural areas that you’ll have to be specific as to how your business can be effective despite the load. But that shouldn’t bother you if you have the welfare of the needy in your heart.

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