- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Francis P. Chiaramonte Foundation, a local medical charity, hopes to ensure that Charles County citizens are able to receive health care with a $75,000 donation to Health Partners in Waldorf.
The donation was presented at a ceremony Tuesday.
The money, which came with no strings attached, will be given to the clinic every year for the next three years.
The Health Partners clinic offers medical and dental care to the underinsured and uninsured in the county.
The foundation is named for the doctor who started Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton in 1977. Chiaramonte’s son, Michael, who currently serves as CEO of the hospital, was at the ceremony at the Health Partners office in Waldorf to recognize the foundation for its contribution.
Chiaramonte spoke of how his father, the son of Sicilian immigrants, sought to establish health care for the area when he founded the hospital, and his emphasis on helping those in need.
“As a doctor, he was about taking care of the people regardless of their ability to pay,” Chiaramonte said. “There’s still a lot of work to do to ensure people receive the proper care, and clinics such as this help serve that end. It was an easy decision to make this donation and we’re happy to help.”
Health Partners board President Kermit “Kit” Wright expressed his gratitude for the foundation’s willingness to help in the mission to provide health care for the uninsured of Charles County.
“The free clinic is a dying model, and for Charles County, we had to ask. ‘Is this necessary?’” Wright asked. “There’s always going to be someone falling through the cracks. We’re here today because we’ve decided to stay open, and this donation helps.”
Howard Haft, Health Partners board member and physician, stressed the importance of health care accessibility for all.
“It’s all about access ... and we’re grateful to Michael and his father for providing that,” Haft said. “There’s nothing better to do for a community than to provide access to health care. ... And we’re just scratching the surface of that.”