Benton Franklin Access to Care Remains Open - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton Franklin Access to Care Remains Open

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - The doors to Benton Franklin Access to Care will stay open at least until next year thanks to 250,00 dollars in expected donations.

The non-profit organization was on the brink of having to shut down completely.

Access to Care Officials said it has been a long battle to keep their facility open.

Access to Care helps low-income people obtain healthcare in the Tri-Cities.  They also work with other healthcare organizations in the community like La Clinica and Grace Clinic to determine which clients are eligible to receive help through the state programs.

A few months ago Access to Care lost all their federal grants after the government told them the money was needed for Katrina clean up and the war in Iraq.

They have had to cut back on staff and even stalled services as the fate of their non-profit lingered in financial ruin.

Workers have been writing letters and asking the government for funds to keep their facility open.  They have also turned to the community for help.

Access to Care Board President Bob Burden said the people that access their services are in desperate need of medical help.  He said, "These people are deciding whether to get medicine for have a place to live."

Burden said that recently the three hospitals in the Tri-Cities have donated a total of 100,000 dollars to keep Access to Care in business.  He also said that there is another 150,000 dollars on the way from two undisclosed groups.

Access to Care officials said they are pleased but say the overall healthcare system in our country has many flaws.  They are working with state and local government to permanently secure money for their operation.