The Mission of Guadalupe Clinic is to provide access to necessary health care for those in need, work for social justice in health care, and call upon the entire Church and other people of goodwill to join in these efforts.
Guadalupe Clinic was established in 1985 to provide health care with respect and dignity for the “working poor” in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. The Clinic serves patients without regard to race, religion, or creed. The Guadalupe Clinic receives no federal funding or insurance reimbursements.
We rely solely on the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations who support us through gifts of treasure.
More than 300 volunteers, giving of their time and talents, also play a crucial role in our success and ability to continue serving those in need. Having hundreds of volunteers and few paid staff allow us to direct our donations to patient care and medicine. Those patients requiring medication leave the clinic either with that medicine or a voucher to cover the cost.
Many of our volunteers come to us through our partnership with KU School of Medicine and a program called Jay-Doc community outreach. This program offers medical students a chance to experience a variety of health situations they wouldn’t normally get to see. The medical students, under the guidance of a licensed doctor, provide care for patients and offer specialty services we would not have available if not for this partnership.
Currently Guadalupe Clinic sees patients at two locations. We also provide outreach health services monthly at various Wichita locations.
Services offered to all patients include physician visits, health screening, education, pregnancy tests, nutrition counseling, assistance with prescription medications and emergency food. The continued success of the Midwest WinefestSM is essential for the Clinic to continue to meet the needs of the poor of our community.
In July of 1985 Guadalupe Health Station was opened at 940 S. St. Francis through the generosity of grants provided by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in Oklahoma. The location on South St. Francis was chosen because the Sisters had been teachers at Guadalupe Catholic School at that same location for 30 years prior to the school’s closing. Since their mission included education and health care, the Sisters decided that this would be a perfect location for the health station.
Sister Joan Koskie worked with Bishop Eugene Gerber and came to the understanding that the Sisters would provide the initial funds needed to open, after which, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita and Catholic Charities would provide assistance.
The original vision was to staff the health station with volunteer nurses who would provide health education, primary health care and referrals when needed. The health station was open 20 hours per week under the auspices of Catholic Social Services with Stephanie Wells as the director. During that first year, physicians associated with St. Francis Hospital Family Practice would see patients on an emergency basis.
During that same year, cardio-thoracic surgeon, Daniel Tatpati contacted his pastor, Thomas McGread, in hopes of forming a clinic for the underserved. It was suggested that he and his wife Olga, also a physician, visit with the team at Guadalupe Health Station. In July of 1986 Drs. Daniel and Olga Tatpati joined the volunteer nursing team and Guadalupe Health Station became Guadalupe Clinic in 1987.
From the beginning, Guadalupe Clinic operated under the premise that health care professionals would follow their stewardship calling by volunteering their time and talents thus keeping costs down. The clinic still operates under that same model today, thirty-two years later. The clinic has more than 35 medical professionals plus the assistance of University of Kansas School of Medicine medical students. Together, they average over 6,500 hours a year in service. It is truly a unique situation with multiple professional and educational partnerships within the Wichita Community. But even with all the hours of volunteer service there are costs to operating.
All funds needed to operate are raised through individuals, corporations, and foundations who believe in the mission to provide necessary health care to the uninsured. It is because of the generosity of the community that Guadalupe Clinic has grown to two full-time clinic locations, one part-time satellite clinic. The clinic also provides outreach services throughout the year.
It is estimated that 70,000 people in our community still lack health care coverage. Many are families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid and their income is not high enough to qualify for Affordable Health Care. Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in our nation. Families in this predicament struggle every day to make ends meet.
Guadalupe Clinic is dedicated to serving these families. Many of whom live one step away from homelessness. The clinic provides vital services for free which allows patients to put their resources to other necessities like food, rent, and utilities. No one should have to choose between seeing a doctor or feeding their family.