Lake County Free Clinic adds new staff, programs

Published in The News-Herald | May 15, 2021

Lake County Free Clinic, serving Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties, announced it has added three new staff members — clinical coordinator Melanie Anderson, medical director Courtney Gravens and Carla Montalvo, as the organization’s first case manager.

“Melanie, Courtney and Carla bring valuable experience to their roles, but beyond that, they have a passion to serve our uninsured and underinsured neighbors and community members,” Executive Director Marty Hiller stated in a news release. “They have quickly learned the needs of our patients, whether for medical care or social services, and are structuring and building their departments and services on LCFC’s 50-year foundation of serving in northeast Ohio.”

Anderson, of Madison, has worked in nursing for more than 20 years, with a focus on emergency medicine. She joined LCFC in December as a clinical coordinator, working with patients and volunteers, drawing labs, preparing medication and supplies, and helping to ensure daily medical services run smoothly.

Gravens, of Willoughby, has more than 20 years working in the medical field, with experience ranging from patient care and education to nursing leadership and clinical instruction. She began serving as the clinic’s medical director April 1, after working as a nurse practitioner in several northeast Ohio companies.

Gravens will be working with clinic volunteers to launch a women’s health component to medical care, providing clinical breast and cervical exams for women who are uninsured or unable to afford the costs of using their insurance.

Montalvo, of Mentor, worked as a case manager, victims’ service advocate and substance abuse counselor before joining the clinic in late April.

As the organization’s first case manager, she will be building on a base set by volunteers working to link patients with needed social services.

United Way of Lake County, a long-time supporter of the clinic’s medical and dental programs, provided an award that allowed the clinic to begin the volunteer-run case management program that will serve as the base for the expanded program headed by Montalvo, the release stated.

The George Gund Foundation has also committed a two-year award to providing support for both case management and women’s health.

“We are so grateful to the organizations and individuals who recognize the gaps in our community’s healthcare safety net and are committed to providing care that begins to mend some of these holes,” Hiller said in the release. “A free clinic is only as healthy as the support it receives from the community and reflects the value that community places on the health of its residents.”

Lake County Free Clinic provides no-cost medical care, lab tests, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to adults and children who are uninsured or unable to afford the costs associated with their insurance.

In addition to women’s health and case management, clinic staff and volunteer providers specialize in care for chronic conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, acute conditions, like infections, rashes and colds, and preventive care.

The clinic’s no-cost dental program remains suspended while the clinic operates from a temporary location in Painesville, the release stated.