top of page

Our Story

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 uninsured Rhode Islanders, with an emphasis on culturally accustomed and linguistically appropriate 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. We have 15 core staff members and leverage the help of over 300 medical and non medical volunteers.

We primarily serve patients through our non- urgent medical care clinic, CHEER.


Clinica Esperanza/ Hope Clinic helps reduce the number of people accessing the emergency department for non-emergent medical needs. The emergency department is the first point of contact for the uninsured and under-insured population. CEHC's CHEER clinic offers a solution by being open 5 days per week as a place for patients to be seen for non-emergent healthcare needs by a provider at no cost. 

We also work with community members to empower others through a variety of health education and outreach programs, including a women’s health clinic, healthy lifestyle intervention programs, domestic violence support groups, and health screenings.

Check out our programs here.  Read about CEHC publications and publicity here.


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.

May 2009:  Opened our permanent facility at 60 Valley Street--a.k.a. “The Plant”--in the Olneyville neighborhood. We moved into the facility in January 2010.

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.

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 could 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 taught 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.”

April 2020: Became a COVID-19 testing site for all uninsured individuals. Began testing 6 days a week.

January - February 2021: Opened our "Pop-Up" site at 85 Eagle St. which was originally a COVID-19 testing site. We began offering COVID-19 vaccines in February 2021 and have administered almost 13,000 vaccines! The site is also used for COVID-19 testing, community health fairs, and healthy lifestyle programming.

May 2022: Became the first federally funded COVID-19 Test to Treat site in the country! Test to Treat operations are housed at our Neighborhood Health Station at 85 Eagle St.

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.  

Join us in supporting the critical and unique work that Clínica Esperanza does by becoming a volunteer or donor!

bottom of page