In 2012, the Free Clinic established a restricted fund named “The Bernie’s Purse Fund.” It was established in memory of Bernie Mathes, our beloved social worker
who died unexpectedly that spring. Bernie was known at the Clinic for her action-oriented caring and compassion for our patients. Quite frequently, situations would arise in which patients needed gas money, cab fare, a bus pass, or money for some other health or personal crisis. Bernie’s normal response to these situations would be to go back to her office and open her purse.
After her death, Bernie’s family and friends at the Clinic decided to set up the “Bernie’s Purse Fund.” The monies donated to this fund are primarily used to:
- buy gas cards and bus passes for patients who find transportation costs especially difficult to afford
- cover dispensing fees for medications ($2.00 per prescription) for patients requesting waivers from such fees.
In 2018, the Clinic expects to provide $5,000 to $7,500 for patient assistance from the Bernie’s Purse Fund.