Health & Dental
An innovative volunteer-based model of service supports our highly respected free clinics.
Two highly respected free clinics provide a medical home to low-income and uninsured individuals residing in San Mateo county. This enables them to access the health care they need without accumulating the disabling debt often associated with healthcare expenses. The clinics offer comprehensive, integrated services, including primary and specialty medical, dental, vision, and mental health care.
We take a holistic, person-centered approach to healthcare. A patient starts by meeting with either a Case Manager or Clinic Manager to assess social, financial, housing, and other needs. Our team of physicians, dentists, and staff then helps patients get the care they need.
Who is Treated?
Patients of our clinics are residents in the neighborhood. They typically work hard as gardeners, food service workers, house cleaners, or entrepreneurs. Many tend to earn just enough income to be ineligible for Medi-Cal coverage, yet do not receive health insurance through their employers and cannot afford to pay for “out-of-pocket” health insurance. Without health insurance, access to even basic medical care becomes an unaffordable luxury.
According to the California Health Interview Survey, 8.1% of residents in San Mateo County are uninsured.
Professional Medical & Dental Volunteers
Our professional medical and dental volunteers at the clinic do what they love: treat patients. With no insurance billing, volunteer physicians and dentists are free to concentrate on caring for their patients. The clinic philosophy emphasizes not the volume of patients seen but the strength of relationships built with patients. Our volunteers come from private practices as well as major medical groups in the area, including Kaiser, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Stanford, and UCSF. To learn more about joining our dedicated team of volunteers, please click here.
In an innovative collaboration with our partners at Second Harvest Food Bank, Samaritan House established Food Pharmacies at our two Free Healthcare Clinics in San Mateo and Redwood City. Our volunteer physicians write “prescriptions” for low-income patients who have diabetes. Then, the patients are able to fill those prescriptions on-site at our Food Pharmacies. Deepest thanks to Second Harvest Food Bank for keeping both pharmacies stocked with fresh produce and other healthy foods.
Medical Specialty Services Include:
- Internal medicine
- Breast cancer screenings
- Diabetic care
- Ophthalmology and optometry
- Nutritional counseling
- Pulmonology and more
Patients who require specialty care not offered at the clinics are referred to other doctors or agencies in the community who often generously offer their services pro bono to our patients.
Samaritan House’s innovative Food Pharmacy Program, the first of its kind in California, was established in 2016, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank and Sequoia Healthcare District. The Food Pharmacies leverage the power of the physician’s “prescription” and empower patients diagnosed with diabetes to improve their eating habits and manage their daily nutritional needs by supplying them with healthful foods and promoting healthy lifestyles with nutrition education. Conveniently located onsite at both Clinics, the Food Pharmacies allow our patients to receive care and fill their food referrals directly after seeing their doctor.
Thanks to this transformational partnership, our physicians are now able to get patients the real food they need, supply tips on how to prepare the food, and monitor the results.
Dental Services Offered
The free dental program was established in 1998 and has since expanded tremendously. Dental Clinic services include fillings, cleanings, extractions, and root canals. With the guidance of a part-time Dental Director, a small paid staff, and countless volunteers, we are able to provide professional dental care to low-income families.
Sharing Compassion and Care
Samaritan House periodically provides tours to national and international professionals studying the success of the Medical Clinic model. Another service that our Free Clinics provide to the community is the opportunity for students and residents from UCSF, Stanford and other Bay Area schools to engage in the Free Clinic. This helps foster a new generation of socially-minded physicians and leaders.
7,436 Total patient visits at our Free Clinics in FY20
Samaritan House Free Clinics
San Mateo Free Clinics19 W. 39th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94403
Hours by appointment only.
Monday - Friday 8:30am- 12pm, 1pm - 5pm
Horas solo con cita previa
Lunes a Viernes: 8:30am- 12pm, 1pm - 5pm
Initial referral from a Case Manager at 650-347-3648
Referencia inicial de un administrador de casos al 650-347-3648
Redwood City Free Clinics