Date of Award
Projects: SPU Access Only
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Bethany Rolfe Witham
Background: In 2018, 30.4 million people in the United States were uninsured (CDC, 2019). Free and charitable clinics provide affordable healthcare services to the uninsured and underinsured. Primary care and preventative services offered at free and charitable clinics reduce morbidity, mortality, usage of emergency resources, and overall healthcare spending (Bell, Turbow, George, & Ali, 2017). Many free and charitable clinics utilize volunteers for staffing. An effective volunteer marketing plan is essential to improve volunteer recruitment for free and charitable clinics.
Problem and Purpose Statements: A small, free clinic provides health care services at no cost to the patient; volunteer staff provide services without monetary gain. Volunteering benefits communities by saving tax dollars, keeping services available at no cost, and increases volunteer social connectedness (Haski et al., 2018). The inability to staff the free clinic will limit access to preventative care, increase healthcare costs for patients, and put an additional strain on healthcare resources of surrounding communities. The purpose of the project is to develop a comprehensive marketing plan focused on the recruitment of volunteers to sustain a workforce at a free clinic. A large volunteer pool will improve clinic operations, increase access to healthcare services, and promote continuity of care for underserved individuals.
Methods: The project took place at a free clinic in Washington. A marketing manual was created utilizing the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. Each cycle informed the project investigator on making appropriate changes to the creation and implementation of the project. A corresponding survey including Likert-scale questions was sent and completed by 12 participants.
Results/Outcomes: Participants indicated the marketing manual was easy to read and outlined an effective and sustainable plan for volunteer recruitment. Project participants indicated that their favorite parts of the manual included the in-depth instructions, the attached photographs, and how they believe the manual would be successful at recruiting volunteers.
Sustainability: The project provided a marketing manual with tools that are cost-effective and can be utilized at any moment to ensure the project continues over time. The marketing manual offers guidance and concrete information on how to plan and run various events depending on the clinic’s specific goals. The manual also provides extensive information about necessary resources to create and run each activity. Additionally, the flyer templates are useful tools to update stakeholders on current and upcoming events and volunteer opportunities to be used by the clinic for years to come.
Implications: The marketing manual provides a plan with actionable steps to recruit volunteers to meet the staffing needs of the free clinic, while also utilizing extraordinarily little resources. The manual can be altered and used at any healthcare facility seeking to increase their volunteer staff. A concrete plan to attain sufficient clinic staff helps free clinics across the country provide cost-effective healthcare with better patient outcomes. Knowledge gained from this project can help Nurse Practitioners (NP) in clinical practice reach uninsured patients through improved clinic operations and increased staff. Furthermore, this project equips NPs with tools for community outreach and specific steps to promote health awareness.
Waldner, Melyssa, "Marketing Plan: A Sustainable Volunteer Workforce in Rural Washington State" (2021). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Scholarly Projects. 27.