Lincoln Community Health Center — Durham County’s only community health center — is a primary care facility to 40,000 local children and adults, many of whom have low income or are uninsured. Lincoln receives much of its funding from federal, state, and local public sector sources. But in order to enhance services or create new patient-centered programs, Lincoln looks to supporters like Fox Family Foundation to pay for some projects that traditional funding sources will not accommodate.
An example of this kind of practical support can be seen in a $12,000 grant awarded in 2017 to help Lincoln purchase three adjustable-height examination tables as part of a larger capital renovation. Providing a portion of the funds needed to replace the exam tables was a necessary complement since restricted funding sources would not have covered all the equipment needed in the examination rooms. The new tables promised improved comfort and accessibility for both very young and elderly patients with limited mobility. The tables also relieved the danger to and burden on staff who, with the old tables, had to sometimes physically lift and lower their patients.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the adjustable tables also offered an unanticipated benefit in helping staff and patients maintain appropriate social distancing. Lincoln’s Chief of Family Medicine, Dr. Holly Biola, described the tables’ additional usefulness: “When our certified medical assistants are processing a patient, the adjustable-height exam tables can be put at just the right height for a patient to rest their arm for a blood pressure reading while the medical assistant charts the results 6 feet away. It underscores how small investments like this can make a difference.”