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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – The first birthday party for Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic, held May 7, celebrated its first year at its permanent clinic space at 60 Valley St.
The day began with a series of free community screenings in the morning for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, HIV, followed by an afternoon jamboree featuring neighborhood nonprofits serving Olneyville, and then an evening party celebrating the contributors to the clinic’s success.
The clinic occupies an important position in the health care safety net in Rhode Island, said Dr. Anne De Groot, the clinic’s co-founder. More than 300 individuals have become continuing patients of the clinic during the past year – and experienced tangible improvements to their health due to the clinic’s ability to manage their chronic health conditions, she said.
De Groot quoted Dr. Peter Simon, medical director at the R.I. Department of Health, describing the wide range of languages and cultures represented by volunteers, staff and patients: The clinic provides “a global health care experience at the reach of the local RIPTA bus line.”
Improving access to care for uninsured patients will reduce the “morbidity and mortality among the uninsured from preventable and treatable health problems, improving the health and well being of the Rhode Island community,” De Groot said.