Walk into the first level of the brand new Virginia G. Piper Medical and Dental Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul’s south Phoenix campus, and you’ll find Chief Medical Officer Dr. Maurice Lee and his staff of mainly volunteer physicians, nurses and medical professionals fast at work caring for uninsured patients.
The newly expanded medical clinic opened December 2018 and is part of the second phase of a $16 million capital project—the first capital project for SVdP in 25 years.
With the medical half of the new clinic open, excitement for the completion of the dental half grows as the campus and community look to its opening later this spring. Dental care continues in the old clinic space for the time being.
The larger medical clinic includes nine exam rooms, a laboratory, procedure room, ophthalmology room, intake area and pharmacy.
“Being in the new clinic has been great because it gives us the chance to expand services that are really needed in the community that we’ve had here and there,” says Dr. Lee, “but it allows us to have it on a more daily basis.”
The free clinic focuses on treating the uninsured and working poor, serving as the temporary medical home for a population of people that would otherwise forgo even the most discounted healthcare because of financial strain.
In 2018 the medical clinic provided more than 7,500 appointments to uninsured patients.
Dr. Lee and his staff treat everything from open wounds to chronic illnesses with the goal of getting health conditions controlled and finding patients more permanent medical homes for future treatment.
“Fifty percent of our patients come directly from the hospital, so they have high needs, high acuity,” continues Dr. Lee. “While they’re here and we’re treating their diabetes, we’ll get their pap smear or their mammogram, their colon checks, their vaccines—everything up to date. Once everything is completely controlled that’s when we find them that sustainable [medical] home.”
Currently the medical clinic offers family medicine in addition to specialties including:
We tend to important medical issues for those who cannot afford it with understanding and dignity. And because of the philosophy of our clinic, which is to not only to cure bad health, but to curate good health, your day of generosity will keep on giving for years to come.