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Good Samaritan Free Health Center Celebrates 10 Years of Community Care

January 22, 2021
Good Samaritan Free Health Center Celebrates 10 Years of Community Care

TriHealth’s Good Samaritan Free Health Center, the largest urban free health center in the state of Ohio, is celebrating its 10th anniversary on January 22, 2021. In Cincinnati, life expectancy drops by 8.5 years for people with lower income. The Free Health Center provides care to the uninsured and disadvantaged members of our community who need it most.

In 2010, a group of generous community supporters came together to address a growing need. A community health assessment revealed an increasing percentage of uninsured residents living in the area were not receiving proper healthcare. When their chronic conditions worsened, they sought care at an emergency room, which could have been avoided with access to routine medical care. The result was a devastatingly negative impact on the health of these vulnerable populations and our local health care system. From that collaboration, the Good Samaritan Free Health Center was founded.

Located in Price Hill, the Good Samaritan Free Health Center provides health care services including dental care for medically uninsured community members 18 and older, who are not pregnant, and who are not Medicare or Medicaid eligible. The population of patients served at the Free Health Center is disproportionately affected by chronic diseases, many of which are either attributed to or exacerbated by poor social determinants of health such as housing, transportation, income, and more. With the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for our services has grown as more adults have lost jobs and health insurance.

Feeling his Best

For patients such as Maurice, the center plays an important role in bridging the gap to better health by providing high-quality, compassionate care. After successful surgery and treatment for stage 2 colon cancer at TriHealth’s Good Samaritan Hospital and the TriHealth Cancer Institute, the follow-up care was crucial for Maurice and getting him back to full health. However, at the time, he was without health insurance to help him afford that care. He turned to the volunteers and staff at the Free Health Center.

“They really made a difference in my life,” Maurice says. “The doctors and nurses gave me the care that I needed. They kept me on schedule for my treatment and really made sure I was feeling my best.”

Volunteer Driven

The Free Health Center is 100 percent philanthropically funded through the Good Samaritan Foundation. It operates through the generosity of donors and an extensive volunteer network of more than 130 physicians, nurses, medical assistants, dentists, hygienists, interpreters, pharmacists, psychologists, clerical volunteers, and other providers. Along with volunteers, the core staff provides care through a comprehensive model that puts the needs, goals, and empowerment of patients at the center of their care.

“Every one of them was great to me,” Maurice says. “For the doctors, nurses and others to volunteer their time and do what they do is amazing. They really help a lot of people.”

A Decade of Gratitude

On their anniversary, TriHealth Free Health Center and The Good Samaritan Foundation offers their deepest gratitude to all the individuals, foundations, businesses, and more who have provided the philanthropic support to make the center possible for the past 10 years. It is only because of these donors and the dedicated volunteers that the uninsured members of our community have access to quality, comprehensive, compassionate care. Of course, the most important gratitude comes from the patients whose lives have improved through the generosity of supporters and volunteers of the center.

“I’m feeling great now,” Maurice says. “I’m blessed, and I can’t thank them enough.”