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Motivations and Outcomes of Volunteers at a Non-Student-Run Free Clinic

Objective: Free clinics provide free or reduced fee health care services to un- or under-insured individuals in the United States. Volunteers are often the primary human resources of free clinics. Previous studies on free clinic volunteers were conducted at student-run clinics, however, little is known about volunteering at non-student-run free clinics. The purpose of this study is to examine motivations, interests and outcomes among volunteers of a non-student-run free clinic. Methods: Free clinic volunteers (N=184) participated in a self-administered paper or online survey from January to May of 2016. Results: “Values” were the most important motivation and outcome for volunteering. Older age was associated with lower levels of motivation for career, as well as motivation and outcome for understanding and protective function. Longer volunteering was associated with lower levels of motivation for values and careers and of outcomes for understanding. While graduate students were more likely to be motivated by career, undergraduate students were less likely to be motivated by values, compared to non-students. Conclusion: Non-student-run free clinics not only provide educational opportunities, but also potentially a wide range of opportunities for individuals who are interested in community health.


Akiko Kamimura, Tammy Garfield, Jennifer Tabler, Maziar M Nourian, Mary Stoddard, Alla Chernenko and Jeanie Ashby

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