Since 1991, volunteer-driven Shepherd’s Clinic has been an innovator in providing health care for the uninsured. Our mission remains unchanged: to provide comprehensive health care for those who cannot afford commercial insurance, yet do not qualify for government assistance. These services are available to patients living in three zip codes (21211, 21218, and 21213) in North Baltimore through the time, energy, and spirit of hundreds of dedicated volunteers. Patients are asked to donate the equivalent of one hour’s wage for an office visit or $9.00 if they are currently unemployed. All clinic patients (ages 19–64) fall under 200% of poverty and most are either working or live in a household with an employed individual.
Over the last two years, Shepherd’s Clinic has added almost 1,000 new patients. Our 6,418 patient visits in FY11 was an increase of 25% over FY10, and more than double our FY08 visits. To provide these services, a record 357 volunteer physicians, nurses, and interested others donated an astounding 16,542 hours…a 15% increase from the previous year and valued at well over a million dollars. This is unprecedented growth for us.
We’re also planning for the future– health care reform will mean changes for the clinic and our patients, but we will continue to be a medical home for our current patients and serve people without insurance in our community. Stay tuned for more updates about the future!
While our focus has always been primary and specialty care, we have expanded our Behavioral Health Program to include psychiatric care, individual counseling, support groups, social work case management, and mental health/primary care consultation.
And though Shepherd’s Clinic is already unique as Baltimore’s only nonprofit specifically targeting the health care needs of the uninsured, we have created the Joy Wellness Center (JWC) as a more preventative component to address some of the chronic conditions seen in our patients. Energized by the vision of a truly integrative service under one roof, almost half of our building is now a calming space with rooms for movement education, stress reduction services, healing arts therapy, and nutrition education. From learning how to cook with less sugar and salt in the demonstration kitchen to experiencing the healing effects of breathing in a beginning yoga class, our patients are finding these wellness services an increasingly important part of their journey toward good health.
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