Dr. William Rogers is the Director of the Physicians Regulatory Issues team at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and is a member of Georgetown University Hospital medical staff. Even with his full time job teaching and practicing medicine, Dr. Rogers finds time to operate Carpenter’s Shelter’s free medical clinic every Thursday night. His volunteer efforts keep Carpenter’s clinic alive, and because of his excellence and service we recently nominated him for the Flora Krause Casey Public Health Award.
Dr. Rogers has been volunteering at Carpenter’s Shelter’s clinic for over a decade. He started coming in to help once a week in the late 1990’s, but once Carpenter’s moved into our current building he became our only physician. Dr. Rogers worked alone for 12 years running the pharmacy and giving check-ups, but finally received help in 2010 when nurses from Georgetown University Hospital started coming in weekly to volunteer. He and volunteer nurses now come in every Thursday evening to administer check-ups to our clients and the Alexandria community. They address health issues such as hypertension and diabetes, most easily treatable with medication. He also checks in with clients on a regular basis to make sure they are taking their medication, just another example of his service and dedication to the program.
The clinic is mostly funded by a grant from Kaiser, but still requires over $15,000 a month from contributions and donations to cover medication and other expenses. Dr. Rogers does all he can to help his patients, but does not have the resources to take care of all medical conditions, including operations and other invasive procedures. These patients that need further medical attention but cannot afford it are often at a loss, and unable to be helped. The clinic has recently started giving women’s wellness exams and men’s prostate exams, but unfortunately does not have the resources to do much more.
Dr. Rogers is extremely excited that Medicare is expanding its coverage starting in 2014, meaning that many homeless people will be able to afford doctors visits and hospital bills. Because of the Affordable Care Act, shelter clients and Alexandria Community residents will be able to seek more professional help for lower costs and enhanced care. Carpenter’s clinic’s need may not be as vital in the future, but no matter what will continue to help and support the Alexandria community. We cannot thank Dr. Rogers enough for his years of service and dedication to our clients.