Story #27: On this spot in 2011, The Free Clinic fought to remain open and continues to go strong today.
We had a very momentous meeting on June 27, 2011. At that time, the head of Health and Human Services for the City of Portland (Doug Gardner) informed us that Mercy Hospital had ended their funding for the Free Clinic–funding that had been in place for 18 years. Doug had made the decision that the only option for the PCFC was to close. We fought that decision and 4 years later, we are still going strong, in spite of the mandate that we were given. So, I thought a brick could be something like: On this spot, on June 27, 2011, the Portland Community Free Clinic re-affirmed its mission to provide high quality healthcare to the uninsured. –Leslie Nicoll
Storytelling often involves a kind of kismet or coincidence. In this case, the coincidence is unfortuante. On the day that this brick was installed in 2016, The Portland City Council proposed cutting funding to the clinic once again. Though residents fought this decision, city council voted to terminate funding for The India Street Clinic. One thousand patients are losing access to the exceptional care provided at the clinic. Community members spent hours testifying to The City Council about the crucial role of India Street Public Health. For many, India Street Public Health is a role model for excellent health care. One doctor who regularly volunteers there stated that he volunteers, “because the way India Street does healthcare is why I went into medicine”. Patients stated that they have received the best heathcare of their lives at India Street. Services will be completely terminated in 2017. We mourn the loss of India Street Public Health.