The San Francisco Free Clinic has been caring for the
community for 20 years. By offering no cost, high quality health care to people
without medical insurance, the clinic
and its staff are models of community service in pursuit of the common good.
Since its Valentine's Day opening in 1994, the clinic has
provided more than 70,000 patient visits, millions of dollars worth of needed
medication, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of free specialty care. But
the clinic and its founders have gone further: They have inspired hundreds of
doctors and medical students to engage in similar work, creating a circle of
providers, suppliers and institutions committed to community service.
The clinic was founded by Drs. Richard and Tricia Gibbs, graduates
of Yale Medical School who established a successful family practice soon after completing
their residencies. But the two young doctors quickly realized that despite San
Francisco's wealth of medical resources, there were still many in the city who went
without care because they had no insurance.
They decided to practice in the population that needed them
most. In 1993, the Gibbs' closed their private practice and founded the San
Francisco Free Clinic. Five years later, they were named Family Physicians of
the Year by the California Academy of Family Physicians.
Today, the clinic relies on financial donations from
individuals, foundations and businesses.
It receives no government funding. Its mission is two-fold: to provide
free, accessible treatment to those without health insurance and to advance the
field of primary care by providing educational opportunities for future medical
From its beginnings in a modest townhouse in the Richmond
District, the clinic has grown into a San Francisco institution, providing
patients with a range of services, from cancer and heart disease screening to
vaccinations and primary health care. If someone needs specialty care, the clinic's
network includes more than 100 specialists who donate one or two consults every
month. In addition, hospitals and imaging centers donate a small number of
x-rays, MRIs and other services.
Who are the clinic's patients? The Doctors Gibbs put it best
in an article published several years ago about their personal journey: "They are neighbors, families, students,
the self-employed, small business folk, or people who recently lost their jobs.
They are people we know and see every day."
Join us in honoring The San Francisco Free Clinic for its
inspiring vision, its lasting impact on San Francisco and its extraordinary
commitment to service and the common good.