The clinic’s history is a reflection of Austin’s — from hippies to households. It was founded as People’s Free Clinic in 1970 in the basement of the Congregational Church on Guadalupe Street across from the UT campus, by a handful of visionary volunteer doctors and nurses.
Initially, the clinic served mostly college students and part-time workers, but today the demand for affordable primary healthcare is much greater. The clinic now employs more than 200 medical and administrative personnel in addition to many volunteers. Then, as now, the clinic is dedicated to improving the health of an increasing number of working Central Texas families.
Over 13,000 patients call People’s Community Clinic their medical home. The clinic is a unique and tested model for medical care, a true safety net for Central Texas’ uninsured and medically underserved. People’s Community Clinic offers a greater variety of health and wellness services than any other not-for-profit clinic in Austin, with services ranging from prenatal through eldercare.
People’s Free Clinic is established by a group of volunteer doctors and nurses in the basement of the Congregational Church off Guadalupe Street across from the University of Texas. In the early years, the clinic operated two nights per week and prospective patients lined up around the block for services.
People’s receives its first federal grant for women’s health and family planning services.
City of Austin awards grant for general medicine services; Travis County awards funding for prenatal care services. People’s Free Clinic changes its name to People’s Community Clinic.
Clinic hours: 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. four evenings per week. Budget: $304,000. Clinic staff: 18 full-time; 2 part-time; 80 volunteers.
People’s initiates one of Texas’ first HIV counseling and testing programs and, in 1986, provides leadership in establishing the first HIV Commission. People’s hires its first full-time physician medical director. Service hours are expanded from 20 to 40 hours per week. Computers are installed for electronic data collection, appointments, and billing.
People’s provides thousands visits annually. People’s moves to its second location at 2909 North IH 35, initiating a $1.5 million capital campaign to purchase and expand the facility. St. David’s Health Care System provides funding for three weekly evening clinics to serve the working poor.
St. David’s increases support to fund five evening clinics per week. Care is now provided 12 hours per day, Monday – Friday. The clinic also wins its first “Best of” award from the Austin Chronicle for “Best Public Healthcare,” as it will do again in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
People’s purchases the facility at 2909 North IH 35. The clinic is named the 60th Anniversary project of the Junior League of Austin. The Center for Adolescent Health is established. Walk-in immunization services are implemented five days per week.
Weekly off-site clinic is established to provide homeless teens with medical and prevention services. Services are provided in collaboration with Youth Options (now the Lifeworks Street Outreach Clinic).
Clinic renovation and expansion is completed. In collaboration with the American Institute for Learning (now American YouthWorks), the Center for Adolescent Health establishes the RGK Downtown Center for Health. St. David’s Foundation names PCC as its first major recipient of funds.
Teen prenatal clinic is established. Pediatric medical director is hired.
St. David’s Foundation funds the Tandem Teen Prenatal and Parenting Project. The budget for the clinic is $2.6 million.
The Volunteer Specialty Referral Program is initiated to provide PCC patients with extended consultative evaluation and treatment services. The budget for the clinic grows to $3.1 million.
PCC, at the invitation of leading Georgetown citizens, initiates services at the Georgetown Community Clinic. The budget is $4.1 million with 77 full- and part-time staff members. A three-year, $10 million Capacity Campaign is launched, starting with the Nowlin Family’s $1 million lead gift. The Board of Directors, with 100% participation, contributes $705,000.
Regina Rogoff, JD, becomes Executive Director. The clinic’s budget reaches $4.5 million.
PCC is named the recipient of the proceeds from the Statesman Capitol 10K race for what will be the first of an unprecedented four year partnership, 2004 -2007. A six-month renovation of the clinic’s facility is completed on schedule and under budget. The Clinic Reunion and Open House celebrates the renovations and the 34th anniversary of the clinic. The budget reaches $4.9 million.
The clinic is awarded the Samaritan Center’s Ethics in Business Award in the non-profit category. The highly successful Capacity Campaign comes to a close after raising more than $5.5 million. Other milestones include the launching of the East Austin Community Health Promoters, the receipt of the first major federal grant for the Center for Adolescent Health’s GOALS Program, and the adoption of a disease registry to monitor several types of chronic illnesses among patients. The budget reaches $5.2 million.
The Chronic Disease Management Program is established to improve the health of patients with conditions such as diabetes and asthma. With funding from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the St. David’s Foundation, People’s launches the Integrated Behavioral Health Initiative. Recruiting 100 donors to give $1,000 each on a sustained basis, the “Council of 100” is kicked off in the last quarter of 2007. The budget reaches $5.7 million.
For the fourth year in a row, People’s is the beneficiary of the Austin American Statesman’s Capital 10K race, and funds are used to launch a Health Literacy Initiative. Patient visits total 46,994. The budget reaches $6 million.
Using the “Centering Pregnancy” curriculum, the clinic begins offering group prenatal visits in the evenings. The evaluation of the clinic’s Integrated Behavioral Health initiative demonstrates that the program is highly successful in treating patients with mild to moderate symptoms and is very cost effective. The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presents People’s Community Clinic with the 2008 Non-Profit Leadership Award. The budget reaches $6.7 million.
With a grant from Impact Austin, PCC starts Saturday group pediatric visits. In June, People’s launches an off-site clinic at the Austin Children’s Shelter. The clinic begins the transition to Electronic Medical Records (EMR).
A People’s story-collecting campaign launches the clinic’s 40th year festivities. The community celebrates the anniversary with a birthday party in the fall. People’s opens an off-site clinic at SafePlace with a collaborative partnership called SafeHealth. The People’s Kitchen, a program to teach healthy food preparation techniques, makes a trial run. The clinic partners with the University of Texas at Austin’s Family Wellness Center to found the Diabetes United program- a group for diabetic patients to learn and share more about living with this chronic disease. The budget reaches $7.6 million.
People’s has its largest, most successful “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch” Luncheon to date, hosting 740 guests and raising over $350,000 for the clinic. Hyde Park Bar & Grill selects PCC as the beneficiary of its Healthcare Heroes contest. The budget tops $8 million. People’s wins Greenlights’ Nonprofit Service Excellence Award. PCC goes tobacco free.
People’s is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) by the U.S. government. This allows People’s to receive a federal grant, give patients discounted pharmaceutical pricing, and offer medical providers full employee benefits, among other benefits. The budget hits $10 million. PCC begins to consider expansion.
PCC has its first federal site visit as an FQHC and is found to have met all 19 program requirements. People’s private fundraising is praised as a best practice.
People’s Chief Executive Officer Regina Rogoff, J.D. is named “Best Nonprofit CEO” by the Austin Business Journal. People’s is recognized as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (the highest level), by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a private non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awards People’s the “Capital of Texas Healthcare Award.”
People’s broke ground on a brand new 59,000 square foot facility in Northeast Austin with an anticipated move in date of April 2016. The People’s – North Clinic, as it will be known, will allow People’s to increase patients served annually from approximately 11,000 individuals to over 20,000. In September of 2015 Robin Rosell, People’s Director of Social Services, was awarded Austin Child Guidance Center’s Austin Icon for Children Award for her work creating the Tandem program. As well, Celia Neavel, People’s Director of Adolescent Health, received the 2015 Health Leader Award from the Texas Medical Association Foundation.
People’s completed construction of the Northeast Austin clinic in the fall and opened for patients on April 12, 2016. In the new clinic, People’s was able to serve more patients than ever before. The 2909 IH-35 location was repurposed as the People’sCenter for Women’s Health and Prenatal Care. In October, People’s inaugurated its new clinic at 1101 Camino La Costa with a grand opening celebration attended by over 1,000 community members.