San José Clinic marks 100 years of finding new ways to share Christ in action
April 26, 2022
San José Clinic patients and children enjoying the Annual Back to School event with beloved Houston Astros mascot Orbit. (Photo courtesy of San José Clinic)
HOUSTON — A local healthcare services provider celebrating its 100th year of care to the underserved continues to find new and creative ways to amplify Christ’s commands for the faithful to love and take care of one another.
San José Clinic, founded in 1922 by Monsignor George T. Walsh and aided by Katie Carroll and the Charity Guild of Catholic Women, continues to be a healthcare home for hardworking uninsured neighbors in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas.
According to Maureen Sanders, president and CEO of San José Clinic, since the pandemic began two years ago, dedicated staff and volunteers have found new and better ways to continue providing quality care to the most vulnerable in the city.
“The clinic had to pivot quite a lot in 2020 and 2021 to continue providing critical care,” Sanders said. “Our telemedicine/telehealth platform continues to provide a pathway to care for patients either lacking access to transportation to clinic appointments or are simply fearful of having contact with others during the pandemic. While our curbside pharmacy model was a vastly successful response to the heightened cases of COVID-19, we are grateful to report that our Class A Pharmacy is fully open, and patients can come inside to consult with the pharmacy staff and pickup life-saving medications.”
Sanders said the clinic also embarked on an initiative funded by Project HOPE to provide mobile COVID-19 vaccinations to area residents and resettled refugees. The clinic also has seen an increase in patients expressing a need for behavioral health and counseling.
“The clinic has embarked on two partnerships to ensure that uninsured and underserved residents have access to quality mental healthcare,” said Sanders. “One such partnership is with Gratia Plena, whose mission is to provide mental and spiritual health services to address mental illness, addiction, marriage/family problems and the spiritual distress that often accompanies them. Their programs stay faithful to the teachings, values and traditions of the Catholic Church.”
San José Clinic is one of more than 60 ministries of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston supported by the Diocesan Services Fund (DSF).
Sanders said DSF funding benefits the clinic in many ways, including providing direct support for patient care, ensuring that critical medications are available to patients battling chronic illness, and constructing a pathway to sustainability for the clinic’s next 100 years.
If more DSF funding were available, Sanders has a list of needs that would greatly benefit those served by the ministry.
“Our ‘wish list’ is extensive, but our priorities include recruiting more healthcare professionals to treat the growing number of uninsured patients in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas and expanding dental care and pharmacy services to the patients treated at our satellite Fort Bend clinic,” said Sanders.
Another critical need that San José Clinic addressed during the pandemic and continues to be an invaluable program today is the satellite clinic in rural Fort Bend County. Sanders said opening this extension during a pandemic was critical but posed many hardships, including challenges with retaining staff and volunteer providers.
“With DSF aid, San José Clinic can help supplement providers to ensure quality care to rural patients requiring critical specialty care,” said Sanders. “Additionally, DSF funding can provide a pathway to expanding services like dental care and pharmacy services to rural patients.”
One of the clients served by San José Clinic over the last two years during the pandemic was Andrea Thibodeaux, who received extensive dental care that was difficult for her to find elsewhere.
“My teeth were so bad that I struggled with eating,” said Thibodeaux. “It interfered with my daily life.”
She said she appreciates the contributions of the faithful to the annual DSF campaign that supports ministries like San José Clinic.
“God has really shined a light on this clinic, and I pray that y’all continue to give to them to help people like me,” said Thibodeaux. “Everyone at the clinic is kind and will work with you to support you. Every experience I’ve had has been pleasant.”
For more information about San José Clinic’s mission to provide healing through quality healthcare and education with respect and compassion for those with limited access to care, go to www.sanjoseclinic.org.
To contribute to the 2022 Annual DSF Appeal, go to archgh.org/dsf.
The fund supports over 60 ministries that require this critical funding to remain in operation. Out of each gift given to DSF, 100% of every dollar goes directly to supporting these ministries.