Who We Are
Clínica Esperanza was founded in 2007 as a place for patients, volunteers, community partners and donors to be healthy. Our community health care model ensures that quality care comes from caregivers who are fully integrated in the community.
Clínica Esperanza offers primary medical care to RI residents without health insurance, with an emphasis on Spanish-speaking and culturally accustomed care. In addition, our focus is on prevention and health maintenance, giving our patients the tools they need to improve their quality of life in the long-term. Our clinic is run by paid staff members and is supported by a robust volunteer community.
We primarily serve patients through The Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic Emergency Room Diversion Project, or The CHEER Clinic, our walk-in clinic for non-urgent medical care.
Our clinic helps tackle a major problem and unnecessary cost in the American healthcare system: overuse of the emergency department for non-emergent medical needs due to underinsurance. Instead of going to the emergency room for back pain or the flu and paying too much for care, our community members walk into our clinic and are served by a Spanish-speaking doctor for free.
We also work with community members to empower others through a variety of health education and outreach programs, including a women’s health clinic, a nutrition and healthy lifestyle program, a childhood obesity prevention program, domestic violence support groups, and health screenings.
August 2007: Clínica Esperanza / Hope Clinic founded by a group of medical volunteers. Initially, we operated out of the basements and meeting spaces of local churches and community service organizations – we thank Open Table of Christ for being our primary home during the Great Recession.
November 2009: Opened a temporary clinic at the AIDS Care Ocean State Office in Providence.
January 2010: Launched our innovative Navegantes community advocacy program, started doing outreach into the community, health screens, and flu shot clinics.
May 2009: Opened our permanent facility at 60 Valley Street--a.k.a. “The Plant”--in the Olneyville neighborhood. Moved into the facility in January 2010.
January 2012: Started the award-winning Vida Sana program, funded by the RI Department of Health.
July – August 2012: Organized and opened our CHEER walk-in clinic. The community build around this walk-in clinic has been going strong ever since. Uninsured patients can walk in after 12pm without an appointment.
June 2013: Article published in the Journal of Community Health studying how much the preventive services at Clínica Esperanza have saved in future healthcare costs. During this pilot 5-month period, our preventive services saved an estimated $1.28 million in healthcare costs, or an incredible $34 for every $1 invested by the clinic.
January 2015: Started the Niños Sanos program with Alison Tovar of URI. This class teaches parents skills to improve the nutrition and exercise habits of their children while improving their own understanding of nutrition at the same time.
February 2015: The Journal of Community Health publishes a study proving the successes of the Vida Sana program. The article states that at the completion of the program, “nearly 90 % of Vida Sana participants showed an increase in their health literacy, and at least 60% of participants decreased each of the risk factors (blood sugar, cholesterol, body mass index or waist circumference) associated with metabolic syndrome.”
We have now seen more than 5,500 active patients in our electronic medical record system, and have had more than 23,000 individual patient encounters since 2010. Since the Affordable Care Act, our number of patient visits has only increased. We see many of these patients regularly for checkups and consultations.