To provide comprehensive health care for those who cannot afford commercial insurance, yet do not qualify for government assistance. Since 1991, volunteer-driven Shepherd’s Clinic has been an innovator in providing health care for the uninsured. Provided 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.
Who We Serve and Why
Recently, one of our patients said, “When your job lays you off, your benefits go with you…problem is, you’re still sick. If it weren’t for Shepherd’s Clinic, I don’t know what I’d do. The service is professional and I can afford it. What more could you ask for?”
46 million Americans have no health insurance and one-third of the entire U.S. population was uninsured at some point over the past two years. In Baltimore City, approximately 100,000 adults are without health insurance and the number is growing each day. What happens when people are uninsured? They don’t get care.
So, when one of our city residents was referred to Shepherd’s Clinic not long ago, she didn’t know that her blood pressure was over 300/180 because she hadn’t seen a doctor in 12 years.
That’s the very reason we opened our doors in 1991. The fact that Shepherd’s Clinic exists truly does improve the quality of health care for Baltimore’s uninsured. We offer these individuals a quality alternative to living with untreated illnesses. For the suggested donation of an hour’s wage, they receive the care needed to prevent illness from becoming a medical emergency, to control chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and to receive annual screenings and care for common health problems. For many of our patients, the Clinic is literally a lifesaver.
Since 2006, Shepherd’s Clinic has enjoyed a permanent home at 2800 Kirk Avenue, right behind Baltimore City College. This wonderful facility has been renovated with the specific needs of the Clinic and its patients in mind. It allows the separation of medical and administrative functions, provides for secure and separate storage for patient records and for medications, includes a separate laboratory space for drawing blood and other procedures, has eight efficient examining rooms, ample free parking spaces, public transportation access, and separate patient intake and checkout processing, enhancing patient privacy. It is, in short, exactly like a regular doctor’s office, rather than a charitable clinic.
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