Arlington Free Clinic medical director receives state accolade

Joan Ritter, M.D., FACPS, of Arlington is medical director of the Arlington Free Clinic. (Free Clinic photo)

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Joan Ritter, M.D., FACP, of Arlington, the volunteer medical director of the Arlington Free Clinic, has been honored with the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation’s 2020 “Salute to Service Award” for her efforts on behalf of the uninsured and underinsured.

She was one of five medical professionals statewide to be honored through the Salute to Service Awards, which were created in 2004 to recognize outstanding efforts in creating and nurturing a caring health promotion and disease-prevention environment by providing service on behalf of patients everywhere.

With the support of 500 medical and non-medical volunteers, the Arlington Free Clinic provides comprehensive health-care services to 1,600 low-income, uninsured adults in Arlington, many of them with complex medical conditions.

“Dr. Ritter is amazing in her ability to balance the many aspects of her life to improve the health of our vulnerable patients,” said Nancy White, the Arlington Free Clinic’s president. “She is readily accessible to us, which is vital, as our clinic does not have paid physicians on staff. Our nurses know they always have someone they can contact when a critical situation arises.”

Because of public-health conditions, the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation was unable to host the 2020 Physicians Gala, so the 2020 Salute to Service Awards will be presented at the 2021 Physicians Gala, slated to be held later this year in Hot Springs.

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