Providence Community Clinic serves most vulnerable community members

The Providence Community Clinic is staffed by Dr. Robert Lippman and three other Providence caregivers, including volunteer physicians and nurses.

Providence Community Clinic, located in downtown Spokane, Wash., embodies the Providence Mission by providing compassionate service to people with unmet health care needs. It is the only clinic of its kind in the region and was the first free medical clinic in Washington when it opened in 1976.

Clinic patients include, but are not limited to, people in low socio-economic situations who are uninsured or under-insured or experiencing chronic homelessness.

“We are here to listen and be there for people,” said Providence Community Clinic Behavioral Health and Operations Manager Robert Lippman, DBH, MSW.  

Carol, Providence Community Clinic patient, takes a moment to admire her new apartment and celebrate her accomplishments.

Patients receive everything from routine screenings and emergency care to hygiene kits and sack lunches. If interested, people can also connect with social services, government and nonprofit programs, and even a continuum of care through the Providence network.

In 2022, Providence ministries and affiliates provided $189 million in charity care for patients in the Inland Northwest alone, including many at the Community Clinic. Charity care is free and discounted care for those in need, and it’s a part of Providence’s community benefit program.

Staffed by Dr. Lippman and others, including volunteer physicians and nurses, this small but mighty clinic cares for more than 1,400 people per year.

“When you’re on the hunt for your next meal or where you’re going to lay your head that night, any other appointments go out of your mind,” said Dr. Lippman. “Our clinic tries to be a safety net for those people whenever they might need us.”