Lesley Daigle: Reflecting on my First 90 Days as CEO

As I approach my 90-day mark at Arlington Free Clinic, I am filled with immense pride to lead this amazing organization during its 30th Anniversary year! We have achieved full staffing, which is remarkable for any healthcare provider, and we are seeing the results of purposeful integration of our varied patient services. Notably, our dental clinic is bustling with around 250 visits per month, and we can now schedule psychiatry appointments within a week of referral. As I look to our shared goals for the year – raising awareness about AFC in the community, strengthening partnerships to address the non-medical needs of the people we serve, and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of charitable giving – I am inspired by the profound legacy entrusted to me.

First, while support for AFC is deep and wide thanks to so many supporters, partners, funders, and volunteers, there are still many in the community who remain unaware of our vital work. With the events surrounding our 30th Anniversary year, we are determined to spread the word and showcase the great impact of our staff and volunteers.

As we raise awareness about AFC, we also aim to establish those critical connections within the broader safety-net in Arlington. Recognizing the significant impact of nonmedical factors on overall well-being, we are committed to addressing the holistic needs of our patients. Our goal is to continue to gain insight into these needs through enhanced screenings and other outreach and to strengthen partnerships that improve the welfare of our patients.

Finally, the philanthropic funding world is constantly evolving, requiring AFC to remain agile and responsive. With 90% of our support coming from private sources, we are deeply grateful for the trust and generosity of our donors. A commitment to transparency and impact will continue to guide our efforts as we demonstrate to supporters how their investments in AFC make a meaningful difference in our patients’ lives and foster a healthier community.

From where I stand 90 days into my tenure, I see that AFC has a unique opportunity to promote the health and well-being of the people we serve while advocating for their broader needs. I thank you for engaging with our work and for all you do to invest in AFC’s vital mission!