Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below to reveal the answer.

What are the Clinic hours?

See Services and Hours

The Free Clinic currently operates every Tuesday evening and on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of each month. Walk-ins are extremely limited; appointments are preferred.  Only established patients can schedule specialty services such as Dental, Vision, Physical Therapy, or Counseling.

Prescriptions must be called in a day prior and can only be picked up during clinic hours.

Where are you located?
What can I expect during my first visit?

Because the Clinic makes every effort to provide thorough and high quality care to all patients, your first visit at the Clinic will take about two hours for most services. It will include the following steps:

  • To determine your eligibility for Clinic services, your financial status will be reviewed by a Patient Advocate. The Patient Advocate will discuss the proof of income you have with you or the proof you will need to bring in. Any other questions you have can be addressed at this time.
  • After meeting with the Patient Advocate, you will meet with a registered nurse. The nurse will do an initial check (e.g., reason for your visit, blood pressure, etc.)
  • You will then meet with a doctor or a nurse practitioner who will do a more complete check and make decisions with you about your health problem.
  • You may be referred to other medical specialties (e.g., Eau Claire City-County Health Department for family planning and STD testing/treatment) or to resources in the community (e.g., food pantries, housing options, job opportunities). A case manager or nurse will discuss these referrals with you.

Spanish language interpreters are available. 

You will be treated with respect. You are expected to respect all Clinic staff and volunteers. Verbal abuse or combative behavior will not be tolerated and will result in immediate dismissal from the Clinic.

How do I receive dental services?
  • Once a patient is established at the medical Clinic, they can be scheduled for dental services. All services are by appointment only.
  • We do NOT accept BadgerCare.  Please contact Marshfield Clinic or CVTC for covered BadgerCare dental services.
  • Appointments for dental can be booked out for several months.  Patients will be placed on the waiting list and contacted for scheduling.
  • If a patient is experiencing dental pain, they should contact the Dental Clinic Director immediately at (715) 839-8477 ext. 204.  
Can anyone receive services at the Clinic?

The Clinic provides services only to those who meet income requirements and have no reasonable access to health care. Patients must also reside in Eau Claire County or an adjacent county (Chippewa, Dunn, Clark, Jackson, Buffalo, Trempeauleau, or Pepin).  Individuals from Chippewa, Dunn, Barron, St. Croix/Pierce, or La Crosse counties are strongly encouraged to contact the free clinics in those counties for services.  For more information, see Eligibility.

How can I prepare for my first visit?

If you are coming to the Clinic for the first time, there are two important ways to prepare:

  • Bring proof of income for your household. This includes your most recent tax return (or proof of non-filer status) and the two most recent pay stubs for you, your spouse, and/or any other contributing members of your household. Proof of SSI or SSDI income or unemployment status would also be accepted.  Your eligibility will be determined based on this information.  See Eligibility
  • Bring proof of residency.  This would include a photo ID with your current address, a lease or tax bill, utility bill, or other document that shows you live in Eau Claire County or an adjacent county (Chippewa, Dunn, Clark, Trempeauleau, Pepin, or Buffalo counties).
  • Bring a list of your medications.
  • BadgerCare ineligibility letter (if applicable). 
How do I make an appointment?
  • Patients who have been previously registered at the Clinic can call (715-839-8477) or stop in during Clinic hours to schedule an appointment. The Clinic is open to take your appointment phone call Monday – Thursday, 9 am to 4 pm.
  • Patients who have NOT been previously registered at the Clinic are taken on a walk-in basis every Tuesday evening from 4-6 pm and on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays from 9-10 am. New patients will not be able to make appointments until they are registered patients. We encourage new patients to arrive at the beginning of registration as the clinic can fill up quickly.
Are there any costs for me as the patient?

There are no fees for services provided by the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic.

How do I arrange for follow-up visits once I am a registered patient at the Clinic?
If you are a registered patient (that is, you have received health care from a doctor or nurse practitioner at the Clinic in the past), you need to make an appointment for the clinic service you need. Appointments are required for mental health and vision clinics. Also, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment for the walk-in clinic. Having an appointment will help shorten the time for your visit.

To schedule an appointment, call (715-839-8477) or stop in during Clinic hours. The Clinic is open to take your appointment phone call Monday – Thursday, 8:30 am to 12:00 noon.

Remember: If you cannot keep your appointment, you must call at least 4 hours before your appointment time to cancel or reschedule it. You will be dismissed from the Clinic if you have two appointment no-shows (that is, you missed your appointment and you did not call at least 4 hours beforehand).

Bring a list of your medications to every Clinic visit.

What is your cancelation policy?
  • Patients must call to cancel their appointment at least 4-hours in advance or it will be considered a no-show.  Please call (715-839-8477) to cancel or reschedule.
  • Patients who have two or more no-shows will not be allowed to make advance appointments and will be seen as walk-ins.
  • Dental appointments require a 24-hour notice for cancelation or rescheduling.  Failure to provide proper notice will result in being deferred for dental services for one year.
How do I get my prescriptions filled? Can I come in just to pick up medications?

The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic does fill medication requests.

If you are visiting the Clinic for the first time, your medications will be provided only after you have been seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner (NP). Even if you were just seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner at a different agency, you must be re-checked by someone at the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic. Meeting with the Clinic doctor or NP and receiving your medications will both occur on your first visit.

If you are a patient already established at the Clinic, you can have your medications re-filled at either the Tuesday Medical Clinic or at all Thursday clinics. Medications can be picked up during clinic hours only.  Patients must call at least 24 hours in advance for medication refills.  

The Clinic stocks the most commonly used medications. It DOES NOT stock narcotics, stimulants, or birth control drugs.

Do you have immunizations?
Yes. Many routine and seasonal immunizations (such as the flu shot) are available at the Clinic. For vaccinations that are needed for overseas travel, please contact the Eau Claire City/County Health Department at 715-839-4718.
Do you provide TB tests for Tuberculosis?

No. Patients requiring a TB test should contact the City-County Health Department at 715-839-4718. 

Do you test for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?
No. Patients who need to be tested for STDs should call the Eau Claire City/County Health Department at 715-839-4718.
Do you provide pregnancy tests or birth control?

No, CVFC does not provide reproductive health services.  Many women in Wisconsin qualify for the Wisconsin Well Woman Program or Family Planning Only Services.  Visit our Women’s Health page for more information.

Patients who need a pregnancy test should call the Eau Claire City/County Health Department at 715-839-4718.

If you send me to the Emergency Room (ER), is it still free?
No. The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic does not have the resources to cover your expenses in the emergency room. If it is necessary for you to go to the ER and you do not have the funds to do so, there may be specific programs in the ER that can help you with the expenses. Questions about these programs should be directed to the staff at the ER.
If you refer me to another organization, is it still free?
Not necessarily. Some of our referrals are free of charge whereas others are not. Some agencies provide a free initial visit but charge for any further visits. Please check with our Clinic staff and the institution of referral.
Do you offer mental health services?

Yes! For those who are already established as Clinic patients, mental health services are available by appointment.

Do you offer vision services?

Yes; once a patient has been established at the medical clinic, they may be seen at the vision clinic.  Appointments required.

How can I give back to the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic?

Thank you for thinking about this! Donations of any amount are welcome and can be made online or sent to the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, 1030 Oak Ridge Drive, Eau Claire, WI, 54701. Please see the Donations page for more details.  Please also consider contributing as a volunteer at the Clinic—see For Volunteers.

Can I donate medical supplies to the clinic?

Thank you so much for thinking of us!  However, as a small clinic with limited services, we are also very limited in the types of items we can accept.  We do not accept any medications or OTC items, wound care, diabetic supplies, syringes, catheter supplies, or medical equipment.  For a more comprehensive list and alternative dropoff locations, click here.