Family practice physician Dr. Bette Boysen has a passion for medicine and compassion for her patients. “I enjoy patient care,” says Dr. Boysen, who has been a volunteer at the Friendship Centers’ Pat Buster Medical Clinic in Venice for almost 10 years. “It makes me feel good when I can continue using my education and knowledge to help people.”

She has nearly 40 years of experience, including 11 years at the University of Florida and 20 years in private practice in Gainesville. Dr. Boysen is particularly concerned about women’s health issues she sees at the clinic.

“High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and lipid problems are common to older women,” she remarks. “I also see patients with bronchitis, COPD and asthma, many of whom are long term cigarette smokers. Increasingly, I’m seeing patients with depression, anxiety and insomnia, caused understandably by the stress of caregiving, lack of money, family issues and other health concerns. We’re fortunate to have volunteer medical professionals to help them.”

One of the biggest challenges she sees is that her patients often haven’t seen a physician or dentist in years, and they have significant health needs. “We help them get the medications and diagnostic tests they need,” says Dr. Boysen.

Friendship Centers is saving lives by providing medical care to older adults who are uninsured or underinsured and meet financial eligibility criteria. Over 70 percent of patients are uninsured and on a sliding fee scale. Even if clients have insurance, many cannot afford their co-pays. At least 50 percent of patients pay nothing for their care. For those who cannot pay, services are subsidized through the Friend in Need patient fund, funded in part through generous donors. No one is refused medical care.

Would you like to help underwrite the costs for medical patients who have little or no insurance and can’t afford care? For more information and to donate, click here.