A 64-year-old patient struggling with alcohol addiction was referred to the Community Outreach Health Clinic (COHC) at Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital after an admission to the hospital for pancreatitis due to his drinking. Every two to three weeks, the patient comes to the COHC for diabetes management and counseling for his addiction and depression. When he started receiving treatment at the COHC, he was experiencing depression and grief due to the loss of his wife, which caused his drinking to escalate. Our counselor used psychological tools and education to help him with his addiction and depression, and he has decreased his alcohol consumption by using those tools and education. His diabetes is also under control with the diabetic management and education he has received, as well as the positive changes he has made in his life. The patient had tried addiction counseling in the past, but it did not work for him. He is grateful for the help from the COHC. “The staff at the COHC have been so helpful," he said. "I'm glad the hospital has a clinic for patients like me.”
The Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics awarded the COHC the Gold Seal of Excellence in 2021. The association recognized the COHC for promoting best practices and maximizing access to quality health care for the most vulnerable populations. The COHC has provided care for uninsured and underinsured adults in the area for more than 20 years. It is just the seventh free clinic out of 94 in the state to earn the WAFCC Gold Seal.