30 Year Anniversary and Fundraising Event October 13, 2023
In the early 1990’s, Dr. Louisa M.T. Silva was keenly aware of the health care needs that Spanish speaking Willamette Valley migrant workers were facing due to lack of health care insurance, English language barriers, medical illiteracy and financial inaccessibility to health services. Dr. Silva was inspired to facilitate safe and reliable medical care for a low per-visit fee, after a visit in a dream from Our Lady of Guadalupe, a symbol of hope and peace in the Hispanic culture. She obtained the support of Delight Stone, a dear friend and businesswoman, who took the dream and created a business plan. Together, they founded the non-profit clinic La Clínica Medical de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe on March 1, 1993. More commonly known as La Clínica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe or "The Guadalupe Clinic".
Dr. Silva and Ms. Stone financially secured a 1920’s era farmhouse as the home of the clinic. With donations from Salem Hospital, and many community volunteers, the house was converted into the humble clinic, we call today, La Clínica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe or The Guadalupe Clinic. Medical providers initially volunteered their time to provide patient health care. Their humanitarian efforts fulfilled an immense health care need in the community. Throughout the years medical providers were contracted and eventually employed. Volunteers, medical employees, non-medical employees, and Board members have come and gone in almost 30 years and as well as a pandemic, but the mission of The Guadalupe Clinic has not changed.
The pandemic was perhaps the most challenging event in the history of The Guadalupe Clinic. Along with many in the community, the clinic was not prepared. There was a shortage of income as The Guadalupe Clinic transitioned to exclusively telemedicine. As quickly as possible, the clinic had their first ever online fundraiser. With generous donations from local and distant supporters, it was a welcomed success. The fundraiser drew the attention of the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. They made a generous donation and helped with supplies needed for the pandemic.
The Guadalupe Clinic continues to provide health care to patients in their native Spanish language. Medical providers are bilingual and culturally competent, understanding the needs of the clinic’s patient population. The clinic has evolved into a critical medical facility in the Willamette Valley, welcoming over 4,000 patients a year for urgent care, preventive care and regular treatment of diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic ailments. The services provided have evolved with time, and in keeping with the economy, the cost of the visits and other services have increased, although these continue to be low compared with private medical practices in the area. The Guadalupe Clinic provides quality health care for the least cost possible, in addition to alleviating the burden of nearby emergency and urgent care.
In 2023, The Guadalupe Clinic’s celebrates its 30-year Anniversary. In recognition of this significant milestone, current Board members are planning a celebration of the clinic’s origins, its importance in the health care community, and a fund-raising event to help fund critical building repairs. Additionally, The Guadalupe Clinic is seeing more and more patients who have little or no financial means to pay for care. This has caused us to consider developing a fund that can sponsor some or all of a patient care. With your participation, The Guadalupe Clinic can continue to support health care access to Spanish speaking patients for many more years to come.