In the News
January 24, 2018 - For over three months, Congress let the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, go unfunded. Then, the bill that allowed the government to reopen after a temporary shutdown also provided money to CHIP. Hadn’t that happened, nearly 400,000 children and pregnant women in Texas could have lost health coverage; 9 million nationwide.
CHIP is a federal program meant to be a safety net for some of the most vulnerable people: those who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and yet don’t have access to other insurance. Houston’s San José Clinic gets those who don’t qualify. It bills itself as one of the city’s first “safety net clinics,” providing affordable healthcare for the uninsured and uninsurable.
Dr. Diana Grair is with the clinic. She says she’s grateful to be able to help her patients but, she warns, the clinic can only do so much.
“It’s still frustrating: when you have a patient that needs surgery, for example. I mean, I cannot help those patients,” says Grair. “And for CHIP, I mean, that’s even more important. Because I feel like those children that are here have no way of getting insurance, are sick or, even worse, have some sort of developmental issue. And we are not able to help with that.”
In 2016, 48 pct of San José Clinic’s patients lived at or below the poverty line: making a little over $24,000 a year, for a family of four. Only about 6 percent of the clinic’s patients are children, but a lot of Grair’s patients have kids who are on CHIP.
“For these kinds of families, at least when it comes to their children, having that health care coverage and having that insurance, for them, that’s much more important than their own health,” said Grair. “And so we need that coverage, we need that kind of care.”
Teresa Vasquez, 45, is one Grair’s patients. She has five children: four are on CHIP.
“Our problem is that we live day-to-day on paycheck-to-paycheck,” Vasquez says in Spanish. “The money that we make is always accounted for by existing expenses. Doctor visits are an additional expense, and CHIP is very important to all, children and adults.”
Heidi Bunyan is San José Clinic’s Chief Operations Officer. She says had CHIP gone away, they would have had to react quickly.
But, Bunyan highlights, if programs like CHIP aren’t funded, it’s not just that the care goes away. “That, in fact, will not happen. It might even get exacerbated, because these kids aren’t being taken care of regularly. And, so, whatever diagnosis they have gets exacerbated because their parents are scared to take them anywhere. What happens at that point? I mean, it’s really a huge snowball effect,” she says.
Funding for San José Clinic isn’t unlimited. They’re not funded by the government. They don’t take insurance, so that usual reimbursement doesn’t exist. Patients are asked to make a contribution toward the costs for their care, based on their annual income. But, Bunyan says their operations are fully funded by donations and grants. And that’s difficult, since the state of Texas has the highest uninsured population in the country.
According to First Focus, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C., since CHIP was enacted in 1997 the uninsured rate for kids nationwide dropped by nearly 68 percent.
CHIP now insures 9 million children and pregnant women… at least until 2023.
November 1, 2017 - William F. McKeon, Texas Medical Center president and chief executive officer, was the featured speaker at San José Clinic’s annual Fall Speaker Series luncheon on Nov. 1. The clinic welcomed more than 300 health care professionals, community leaders, patients and donors for a discussion about the latest developments at the clinic and innovation in health care communities.
McKeon was interviewed by Bob Charlet, president and publisher of the Houston Business Journal.
The most innovative health care communities are the ones that are starting to find resources that are applied elsewhere,” McKeon said. “Most of the volunteers coming into the San José Clinic are coming from the medical center. They work really hard at the medical center, but in their heart they volunteer here to come and give back to the community, and to me that is innovative.”
The non-profit clinic has been offering affordable health care to Houston’s uninsured and under-insured for nearly a century through health care partnerships and fundraisers.
“Nearly 60 percent of low-income adults in Harris County are uninsured,” said Paule Anne Lewis, president and chief executive officer of the San José Clinic. “Our patients, not just locally in Harris County, but out as far as we can reach them, live at or below the federal poverty line and need access to care.”
In 2016, the San José Clinic became the 58th member of the Texas Medical Center.
If you look at the care the clinic has provided for almost a century—high-quality, low-cost care—that’s exactly what the community needs,” McKeon said. “People need to go get their medications, they need to get their diagnosis. And our emergency rooms are not the best place to do early detection and primary care.”
Because of its partnerships with Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Houston, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and others, the San Jose Clinic is able to offer a health care home to more than 3,000 patients annually, providing primary care, women’s health services, specialty care, dental care, diagnostics, vision and full pharmacy services.
September 26, 2017 - When Hurricane Harvey came to southeast Texas, everyone battened down the hatches and prepared for the storm of their lives. When Harvey passed after days of torrential weather, they began to peek out and see that recovery would be needed on a scale not seen in decades. San José Clinic was ready with a response to the devastation Harvey had wrought, providing a safe haven of health before the waters even began to recede.
“The Clinic was blessed that our facility did not sustain any damage during Hurricane Harvey,” shared Paule Anne Lewis, Clinic president and CEO. “Thanks to our partners at the CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare and their speed in ensuring the building was in working order, the Clinic was able to quickly swing our doors open wide, removing all restrictions and costs for the care southeast Texas so desperately needed.”
Dozens of Harvey-impacted patients have been seen at the Clinic since the re-opening on August 30th. At the time of reporting, there have been over 750 patient visits with nearly 1,000 prescriptions filled, with more patients coming in every day.
This outpouring of service has been made possible by generosity of local and national aid groups including Americares, Project HOPE, and Envolve Health with their provision of vital supplies, logistics, and volunteers. Funding and supplies have also come from the John S. Dunn Foundation, Patterson Dental, and Henry Schein, Inc. With this support, the Clinic is now serving as a base of operations for the distribution of emergency supplies to shelters and disaster areas.
These partnerships have also allowed San José Clinic to expand their reach beyond their Midtown facility to reach the hard-hit residents of Fort Bend County. Almost a quarter of Fort Bend County flooded because of Hurricane Harvey, and more than three hundred families lost their homes entirely in Rosenberg alone. To serve this hard-hit rural area, San José Clinic and partners have established a special health and supply clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Rosenberg. From medical care to donated supplies and pharmaceuticals, this place of faith is now also nurturing the physical needs of those devastated by the unprecedented flooding and damage.
San José Clinic partnered with SCORE of Ohio and Project HOPE of Virginia to bring this much needed assistance to Fort Bend County. The site is staffed by volunteers from across the US, including a team from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a physician from Oregon, a nurse from San Antonio, and a behavioral health specialist from western Pennsylvania.
An impact has already been seen at this satellite location since they opened on September 6th. More than 500 people have received tetanus shots, prescription refills, eye exams, glasses, and other medical care.
The impact of Harvey will continue to be felt across the region for weeks and months to come. The established patients of San José Clinic are among those most affected and in need of help, including low-income workers who were not paid during the storm and struggle to find work and replace all they have lost. Patients of the Clinic come from more than 20 counties across the state, including those hardest hit by Harvey.
“The Clinic will remain available for the area’s recovering vulnerable individuals and families as long as we are able,” remarked Lewis. “However, one quarter of the Clinic’s annual budget comes from patient contributions, which have been waived in the wake of this disaster. While San José Clinic was able to respond with agility and speed before the hurricane, thanks to partnerships new and old, your support and generosity is needed more than ever before.”
Hope shared on an international scale, care in their own backyard - TMC News Online
September 22, 2017 - Five-year-old J.W. Claburn and his mom, Emily, were expecting plenty of things when Hurricane Harvey bore down on their Richmond neighborhood – perhaps they would lose power or the Brazos River would overflow its banks in their backyard. They were prepared with food, flashlights, and water. The only thing they were not prepared for was J.W. to go viral… on the web.
As the National Guard conducted one of their daily visits to the Rio Vista neighborhood after flooding began, J.W. reached up to show them something. It was just a little thing he had picked up as his family surveyed the hurricane’s impact, including fish swimming down their street, the day before. He was sharing a small American flag he had rescued from a storm drain.
“It was just a spur of the moment thing,” shared Ms. Claburn. “J.W. has always loved flags and he wanted to show his support for the people helping our neighbors and friends. I snapped a picture on my phone and shared it on my Facebook page for my friends and family, like I would do for any cute thing J.W. does. I thought it might be a way to raise people’s spirits during a tough time.”
Within hours of Emily’s initial post, the touching photo of the sun streaming down through broken clouds had been reposted and shared hundreds and thousands of times. It quickly crisscrossed the globe and gained media attention. J.W.’s photo was broadcast symbol of hope for the people of Houston by Inside Edition, Yahoo! News, and more.
“I’m so glad this picture has helped so many people because it’s really tough right now,” said Ms. Claburn. “I know our family was blessed that our house didn’t get damaged, but we were stranded for several days. My family is playing catch up now since my husband couldn’t work or get paid at all that week.”
Stories just like the Claburns have been heard at San José Clinic since they reopened for care in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
“While many Houstonians are blessed to have the resources needed to rebuild their homes, many others are in situations that will remain extremely precarious in the coming weeks and months,” said San José Clinic president and CEO, Paule Anne Lewis. “People living paycheck-to-paycheck were hard hit by this disaster, losing daily wages their families depend upon. As Houston’s original safety-net clinic, San José Clinic is helping the local underserved, uninsured community in any way we can. One of those ways has been removing all restrictions and costs of care for the time being.”
Since Harvey passed, San José Clinic has seen more than 1,000 patients and filled nearly 1,500 desperately needed prescriptions for both new and established patients at their facility. With their easily accessible location in midtown Houston just off the METRO, the Clinic has been a godsend for so many Houstonians.
But Harvey affected more than just the city limits – almost a quarter of Fort Bend County flooded and hundreds of families lost their homes. To serve these hard-hit rural areas, including the Claburns’ neighborhood, San José Clinic and partners also established a short-term health and supply clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Rosenberg. At this satellite location, volunteers have seen more than 500 people for tetanus shots, prescription refills, eye exams, glasses, and other medical care.
When flood waters receded and they were able to leave their home, Emily was relieved to hear that San José Clinic did not sustain any damage and had reopened so quickly. She has been a patient at the Clinic for about four months and relies on their affordable healthcare and prescriptions, since neither she nor her husband are eligible for insurance or government health benefits.
“It is patients just like the Claburns that San José Clinic was established for 95 years ago,” remarked Lewis. “The Clinic will remain available for the area’s recovering vulnerable individuals and families as long as we are able.”
“The medication and treatment I have received at San José Clinic for my chronic conditions have helped so much. I have so much to be thankful for,” Ms. Claburn concluded. “God is working miracles in Houston.”
Let’s hope that miracles after Harvey go viral next.
Response Team Expands Efforts with Local Partners, Helping Survivors of Hurricane Harvey’s Catastrophic Impact - Americares, September 18, 2017
MGH Team In Texas To Treat Patients Hit By Harvey And By Chronic Health Problems - September 17, 2017 - WGBH News - Boston, MA
Hurricane Harvey: Stories from the Flood - Americares, September 14, 2017
Rosenberg and other overlooked communities digging out from Harvey, too - Houston Chronicle, September 13, 2017
September 13, 2017 - As displaced residents struggle to rebuild their lives and homes, many are facing heightened financial burdens in post-Harvey Houston. Some locals are struggling to afford even basic healthcare.
San José Clinic, a 95-year-old institution that offers affordable healthcare for low-income uninsured patients, is seeking support from the public to help those affected by Harvey.
The institution generally offers medical, dental and pharmaceutical assistance to low-income families. Under ordinary circumstances, they require prospective patients to have a valid form of identification, proof of address, earn less than, or equal to, 250 percent of the federal poverty level and not be eligible for health insurance coverage.
However, given the difficult circumstances resulting from Harvey, they are currently waiving those eligibility requirements and "seeing anyone in need of care."
"We have also waived the patient contributions to remove this burden for the time being," a spokeswoman said.
The Midtown clinic was among the first places to reopen following the devastating flood. It began operating as early as Aug. 31, with the intention of helping those in desperate need of medications and medical services.
"Generosity and compassion are key elements of the San José Clinic mission," Paule Anne Lewis, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "It was second-nature for us to open our doors even wider and waive patient fees as we come together to pull through after this trying time. San José Clinic is now here for anyone in our community that finds themselves in a precarious situation and in need of medical, dental, or pharmaceutical care."
"Thousands are now struggling to avoid economic instability after going unpaid for time spent waiting out or recovering from Harvey, including our patients," Lewis explained. "So, even before floodwaters began to recede, San José Clinic was connecting with local authorities and many aid groups to provide the utmost possible support for those who depend on us as well as the wider community."
The clinic is also doubling as a distribution site for donated supplies and is welcoming corporate donations of medical, dental, and pharmaceutical supplies, as well as volunteer bilingual healthcare providers. Americare and Project Hope are onsite with volunteer healthcare providers, as well as others who are distributing their donations and other goods to various sites in need.
San José Clinic steps up to help the community - Texas Catholic Herald
September 12, 2017 - In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, teamwork and flexibility are proving vital to southeast Texas’ recovery. As San José Clinic has learned this lesson many times over in its 95-year history, they were among the first to respond in the wake of the storm, reopening on Thursday, August 31. By offering medical and pharmacy care, the Clinic filled an immediate need for those with chronic medical conditions and reduced circumstances.
“Generosity and compassion are key elements of the San José Clinic mission,” shared Paule Anne Lewis, president and CEO. “It was second-nature for us to open our doors even wider and waive patient fees as we come together to pull through after this trying time. San José Clinic is now here for anyone in our community that finds themselves in a precarious situation and in need of medical, dental, or pharmaceutical care.”
San José Clinic’s facility in Midtown came through the storm without damage, but that was tragically not the case for many Houstonians in the wake of Harvey.
“Thousands are now struggling to avoid economic instability after going unpaid for time spent waiting out or recovering from Harvey, including our patients,” continued Ms. Lewis. “So, even before floodwaters began to recede, San José Clinic was connecting with local authorities and many aid groups to provide the utmost possible support for those who depend on us as well as the wider community.”
Americares and Project Hope are now on-site at 2615 Fannin, providing vital supplies, logistics, and volunteers. The Clinic is also now serving as a base of operations for the distribution of emergency supplies to shelters and disaster areas.
Ms. Lewis thanked the community for their support thus far, but cautions that a long road is still ahead for us all. “Over 95 years, the Clinic has become a strong organization with the agility required to respond to Harvey’s impact. Now, we are relying on the generosity and support of the community to help Houston’s most vulnerable populations while they rebuild.”
Hurricane Harvey and pharmacy’s call to action- American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy – September 9, 2017
Medical teams provide free clinic for Riveredge residents - Community Impact Newspaper, September 8, 2017
Mass General Staffers Are Helping Hurricane Victims - Boston Magazine – Boston Wellness Blog, September 6, 2017
Disaster Relief - Stories of Response Efforts - NAFC – The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, August 30, 2017
An Update on San José Clinic Relief for Those Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
August 30, 2017 - Hurricane Harvey has had a devastating impact on Houston and the surrounding region. According to several news outlets, floods have forced at least 35,000 people out of their homes into shelters, and tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed in Houston alone. While many Houstonians are blessed to have the resources needed to rebuild their homes, many others are in situations that will remain extremely precarious in the coming weeks and months.
Low-income workers are now struggling to avoid economic instability, as so many go unpaid for time spent waiting out or recovering from the storm. As these workers often live and work paycheck-to-paycheck, any time —let alone several weeks— without income places their families in even greater need of economic help. The need in our community for the comprehensive healthcare services of San José Clinic is now greater than ever.
We have already begun to expand and accelerate our efforts in assisting the local community. As Houston’s original safety-net clinic, we are prepared to help the local underserved, uninsured community in any way we can. In anticipation of the heightened need for our services, we have already collaborated with Americares, Direct Relief, and other corporate partners to provide vital healthcare services in Harvey’s wake. Our partners at Americares will be working on-site at our Clinic to help us to distribute medical supplies to shelters and disaster areas. We expect the first large shipment to arrive this weekend with distribution beginning on Tuesday, September 5. We are also joining forces with other safety-net clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and charity care clinics in the Houston area to ensure our community is adequately served in this time of need.
We re-opened the Clinic this week to provide pharmacy services, primary medical care, emergency dental services, and mental health counseling, as well as our full range of diagnostic services. We have also resumed our regular operating hours in order to continue providing high-quality healthcare to low-income, uninsured people in the most vulnerable corners of Houston.
This week, we have waived eligibility requirements in order to accommodate the loss of identification and other important documents due to the storm. We have also waived patient contributions until further notice, as we realize that many of our patients have lost several critical days of income.
Because of these changes to our procedures in respect of our patients' altered circumstances, we now have an even greater need than usual to fill and will be in need of financial support from the community. Thanks to the support of our community, the Clinic has become a strong organization with the agility to respond to this urgent need. With your support, we will be able to strengthen our community and help Houston’s most vulnerable populations while they rebuild after this natural disaster. Your generosity is most appreciated.
Paule Anne Lewis
President and CEO
San José Clinic begins Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
August 30, 2017 - All of San José Clinic joins me in hoping that you and your loved ones are all safe, dry, and out of danger as the impact of Harvey continues to be felt in the Greater Houston area.
Whether you are dealing with the effects first-hand or are praying for our community from a distance, I want to assure you that San José Clinic has weathered the storm. While many of our staff and volunteers are still unable to reach our doors, the Clinic will be open for limited hours through the rest of this week to assist those in urgent need, working closely with local authorities to provide the utmost assistance we can with the resources we have available.
We will be waiving patient contributions as our community recovers because we recognize the even greater financial burdens that Harvey will put the vulnerable people who depend on San José Clinic. Please consider supporting these patients in need by donating the cost of their care at www.sanjoseclinic.org/harveyrelief
Please keep us in your prayers as we work to restore our full operations, including receiving deliveries of emergency supplies and contacting patients with appointment and medication information. We hope to be back to full capacity on Tuesday, September 5th.
Thank you for supporting the important work which began in 1922 and will continue on because of you. I know our patients can rely on your generosity and compassion.
Paule Anne Lewis
President & CEO
San José Clinic honors Larry Massey and celebrates 95th anniversary at successful 10th annual Art with Heart gala
April 26, 2017 - On Saturday, April 22nd, hundreds of guests gathered to support San José Clinic at the 10th annual Art with Heart event. The event featured a silent auction of more than 200 pieces of museum-quality art, beautiful jewelry, and Big Board packages as well as live auction items focused on direct patient care. Art with Heart 2017 also highlighted the faces and stories of San José Clinic and the work of Brother Cletus in memoriam.
“Art with Heart is always a wonderful opportunity for the healthcare and charitable communities to gather. This was a very special event as we celebrated 10 years of the event and 95 years of San José Clinic serving Houston,” shared Paule Anne Lewis, president and CEO of San José Clinic. “It is always moving to see a room packed full of dedicated supporters and new friends for this exciting evening. We could not imagine a better way to commemorate these very special anniversaries.”
During the program, San José Clinic honored Larry Massey with the Portrait of Compassion in recognition of his many years of support and advocacy. Honorary event chair Dr. Didi Garza shared, “Together with myself and Barb Heilman, Larry masterminded the creation of Art with Heart, which has become the Clinic’s largest fundraiser, raising more than one million dollars in the past ten years.”
“When Didi, Barb, and I dreamed up Art with Heart 10 years ago, we had no idea how much it would grow,” expanded Mr. Massey. “I am so grateful to be a part of the legacy of San José Clinic and Art with Heart.”
This year’s event is still accepting and receiving donations, which go towards providing the underserved of Houston with quality healthcare.
Les Alexander and the Houston Rockets support San José Clinic with historic grant
March 29, 2017 – By providing medical, dental, pharmacy, radiology, and vision care in one convenient location, San José Clinic benefits more than 4,300 uninsured Houstonians each year. Unfortunately, in a city with a population of more than 2 million, located in the nation’s least insured state, there are always more in need. A charity care clinic that has served the local community for 95 years, San José Clinic relies almost entirely on philanthropic funding to aid those without access to care.
In December 2016, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander announced that he, along with the Clutch City Foundation, would be donating $4 million to a group of charitable organizations in the area, and in March 2017, San José Clinic was announced as one of the recipients of his generosity.
“San José Clinic has been honored to have the support of Mr. Alexander and the Houston Rockets for many years, and we are so excited to expand our partnership,” said Paule Anne Lewis, President and CEO. “It is gratifying to have the Clinic chosen, along with 19 other organizations, from the dozens of applicants.”
In 2015, San José Clinic lost more than $200,000 from funders due to shifts in their funding portfolio, and was more recently informed that another funding partner will be reducing its gift, vital to offsetting operating expenses, by 50%.
“These losses in funding do not decrease the need for the Clinic in our community, particularly in this economic climate,” shared Lewis. “It is encouraging to see that there are funders, such as Mr. Alexander and the Clutch City Foundation, who still believe in the value and place of San José Clinic in our community. Their generosity will help us guarantee that uninsured Houstonians can receive the comprehensive healthcare they need to lead happy, healthy lives.”
The Clutch City Foundation is a 501(c)(3) established in 1995 by Rockets owner Leslie Alexander to provide help, hope and inspiration to those who might otherwise be forgotten. Since its inception, the Clutch City Foundation has raised more than $10 million for those who are less fortunate.
Together, San José Clinic, Mr. Leslie Alexander, and the Clutch City Foundation are changing lives by providing quality healthcare and education to those with limited access to such services in an environment which respects the dignity of each person.
San José Clinic joins TMC, partners with CHI - Texas Catholic Herald
February 14, 2017 - San José Clinic has joined the Texas Medical Center (TMC) as its newest member institution.
“The San José Clinic’s mission to provide quality healthcare and education to those with limited access to such services is complementary to the mission and goals of the TMC and its member institutions,” said Dr. Robert C. Robbins, president and CEO of TMC. “We look forward to a strong and enduring relationship that will benefit the Clinic, the TMC community and the larger populace we serve.”
San José Clinic, the original safety-net clinic in Houston, has steadfastly grown into a leading provider of healthcare services for individuals and families in the Greater Houston area who struggle the most with accessing care since it was founded in 1922.
“We’re honored to join the prestigious Texas Medical Center as its newest member institution,” said Paule Anne Lewis, president and CEO of San José Clinic. “As the only multidisciplinary clinic in Houston that exclusively serves the uninsured and underserved, San José Clinic works to ensure that those who face economic and social challenges are not denied the right to quality healthcare. We are grateful that Dr. Robbins and the TMC leadership as a whole recognize the clinic’s contributions to, value for, and vital place within our healthcare system.”
The clinic’s decades of growth have been supported by partners, including every major healthcare system in the TMC, coming together to better serve Houston’s growing community. Each year, more than 800 volunteers from professional, academic, and public groups join the clinic staff, of less than 50, to deliver patient care and support.
By officially joining the TMC, San José Clinic will continue to strengthen and expand these partnerships to further its mission and impact. Through this opportunity, the clinic will also be able to further grow services and volunteer base to expand capacity and better serve patients’ needs.
“San José Clinic serves an invaluable role in providing medical and dental care to families and those underserved who are oftentimes in the margins in today’s society,” said Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. “The medical center is gaining a member with more than 90 years of history in serving our community — not only as an active healthcare institution but as a vital ministry of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration for the benefit of those we serve.”
In addition, the clinic has partnered with CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center (CHI), which had established a transitional care clinic (TCC) for its post-discharge congestive heart failure (CHF) patients to make sure they had consistent follow-up care, education and counseling.
CHI approached the clinic in 2014 after it was having difficulty finding appropriate ongoing care for uninsured CHF patients, who number a few dozen in any given year and are at high risk for readmission if not carefully monitored. The two organizations already had a working relationship, and the clinic had capacity to accommodate the patient population. San José Clinic sought to create a medical home for comprehensive care management for these patients.
“San José Clinic has collaborated with CHI St. Luke’s Health since they initially came into Houston three years ago,” Lewis said. “This partnership is a wonderful way for the Clinic to continue to fulfill our mission by providing quality healthcare to those in need.” The overall goal of the partnership was to create a care transition program to coordinate care for these patients and give them a stable source of ongoing monitoring and follow-up treatment.
Specific goals of the partnership included to develop co-management strategy for heart failure in the uninsured population, subsidize care during the transition period from post-acute care to a community setting and provide a stable primary care–based medical home for patients.
CHI paid for each patient’s initial visits to San José Clinic to offset the upfront costs of establishing the patient relationship (e.g., lab work, consultations). Patients were referred to the clinic after an initial meeting with a TCC team member to explain the partnership with San José Clinic and its role as the patient’s medical home.
The program was beneficial to all parties involved. For patients, the partnership improved health and access to additional services. For CHI, the partnership provided cost savings due to reduction in uninsured CHF admissions and readmissions. The partnership also gave the clinic compensation for delivery of services during the patient’s transition period.
January 12, 2017 - For nearly a century, the San José Clinic has been providing a health care home to the underserved population of Houston and its surrounding areas. Since 1922, the clinic has been able to provide high-quality care to its patients through strong volunteer support—23,000 volunteer hours are logged each year—as well as through partnerships with a number of Texas Medical Center member institutions. TMC recently further strengthened its relationship with the San José Clinic by making it an official member of the medical center.
“The San José Clinic’s mission to provide quality health care and education to those with limited access to such services is complementary to the mission and goals of the Texas Medical Center and its member institutions,” said Robert C. Robbins, M.D., president and CEO of Texas Medical Center. “We look forward to a strong and enduring relationship that will benefit the Clinic, the Texas Medical Center community and the larger populace we serve.”
Annually, the clinic serves over 4,000 uninsured patients, providing primary and specialty care, optometry, dental care, cancer screenings, mental health services, lab and diagnostic testing, and access to an onsite Class A pharmacy.
“We have been collaborating with several of the institutions in the Texas Medical Center for years,” said Paule Anne Lewis, president and CEO of the San José Clinic. “Our partnerships are mutually beneficial. We are able to offer a wider range of care to our patients because of the specialties our partners offer, and we also help to keep our uninsured patients out of the emergency room and help keep them healthier over all.”
Many of the San José Clinic’s patients face a variety of issues that make accessing medical care difficult, including language, education, transportation and financial barriers.
“By bringing the resources from the medical center here to our clinic, the setting that is most appropriate for our patients, it helps us to manage those social determinants of health and address their clinical needs,” Lewis said.
The TMC has partnered with the San José Clinic on programs including its annual Art with Heart fundraising gala, which last year was hosted at TMCx. Denise Castillo-Rhodes, TMC executive vice president and chief financial officer, supported the clinic’s inclusion as a member.
“Almost a century ago, the Texas Medical Center legacy began with the admittance of its first patient to the first hospital in what would become the world’s largest medical complex. At the same time not too far down the road, a little known clinic was formed with a $50 donation for the purpose of providing health care access for those with limited access,” said Denise Castillo-Rhodes, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Texas Medical Center, as well as a volunteer for the San José Clinic. “The San Jose Clinic serves a very important role in our community. Thus, it is a natural next step for the San Jose Clinic to join the Texas Medical Center as its newest member, as it continues to grow and provide extraordinary health care and education at affordable prices.”
In the future, as an official member of the TMC, Lewis plans to expand the San José Clinic’s partnerships throughout the medical center and to continue offering the best possible health care for their patients.
“We are really grateful to the TMC leadership and the organization as a whole for recognizing our contributions and the role we play in taking care of the patient population here in Houston,” Lewis said. “We currently have students from 12 Texas Medical Center institutions making rounds in our clinic and I can’t wait to see how this partnership of us being a TMC member institution will further our volunteer and partnership base.”