Knox Clinic will be surveying residents in July and August about the medical services they get today, the services they need, and what stands between the two.

The volunteer clinic is seeking input from people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. Data collected over the two months will be made available to the public. Meredith Batley, executive director of Knox Clinic, said she doesn’t know exactly what to expect, but has some assumptions.

“We know that dental care is very expensive, that there are long wait lists for mental health treatment,” she said. “And that the group in particular that we are hoping to connect with is people who are making reasonable money and are either paying out-of-pocket for their care … or who have a marketplace plan, one of the health insurance plans through Obamacare, but have really high deductibles that may prevent them from actually getting regular preventative care.”

The clinic is not planning a set schedule of appearances. Batley said residents to be on the lookout for a table at various locations around Knox County, including libraries, pharmacies, business fronts and community events.

“We’ll have a big banner, and there’s going to be free goodie bags,” she said.

The survey will be distributed through businesses, organizations and churches and will be available online at

In addition to helping Knox Clinic improve its offerings, Batley said the findings could help make the case for a Federally Qualified Health Center in mainland Knox County. Because FQHCs receive funding from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, they are required to provide care on a sliding-fee scale based on ability to pay and are governed by a board of directors that includes patients. Today, the only FQHC in Knox County is on Vinalhaven. Nearby centers include Sheepscot Valley Health Center at Coopers Mills and Seaport Community Health Center in Belfast.

“I’m just really curious to hear whether transportation or cost is a bigger factor for folks,” Batley said, “particularly in the outer communities, like Washington and Union. Are they getting care? And if not, what is that specific barrier?”