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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A health clinic opened Tuesday morning in San Francisco’s Excelsior District, designed to provide basic medical care to uninsured and low-income residents.
Clinic by the Bay planned to provide free medical care to working adults who are without insurance or cannot afford to pay for medical care. The patients must live in the Excelsior or Outer Mission neighborhoods of San Francisco or in Daly City.
KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:
“We don’t have the capacity to go beyond that right now, but are hoping to expand that down the road,” said Scott Hauge, vice president and co-founder of Clinic by the Bay.
The clinic, part of the nationwide Volunteers in Medicine network, would be operated by retired physicians, nurses and trained volunteers. It was funded by private donations, and would not accept insurance or rely on government funding.
Listen to the KCBS interview with Jim Emerman, executive VP of Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank based in San Francisco:
There were 82 other clinics in the network, and this was the first one opened in Northern California.
The clinic’s location, 4877 Mission St., was selected because research showed that the area was underserved by medical providers.
More than 100,000 uninsured people were believed to live in San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
About 100 volunteers, from retired doctors and nurses to translators, signed up to help out at the clinic. Volunteers would be able to speak in Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog.
The clinic planned to provide primary and preventive medical care, basic dental and mental health screening, prescription medication assistance, and specialty referral coordination.
Hauge, who is also the vice chairman of the national Volunteers in Medicine organization, said the clinic expects to handle about 2,100 visits in its first year of operation and hopefully expand down the road.
“The reason we’ve been successful is because the community takes ownership” of the clinics, he said.
For more information about the clinic, or details about donating, call (415) 405-0222 or visit www.clinicbythebay.org.
(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)