Why Good Shepherd Clinic Exists
We consider healthcare to be a basic human right. Being uninsured is a huge barrier to accessing the health services needed to be healthy. Lack of access to quality healthcare impacts more than the uninsured individual – it impacts families, employers, and the community. Unfortunately, in 2018, Oklahoma’s uninsured rate was ranked second highest in the nation. Our state ranks 49th in the nation for state health system performance. Poverty, lack of insurance, and lack of affordable care are some of the reasons for our state’s poor health rating. In addition, only 1 in 2 Oklahoma residents has access to dental insurance. Oral health is integral to general health. Oklahoma is our home, a state of beautiful land and beautiful people. This is a place where we care about our neighbors. Too many of those neighbors are suffering due to lack of adequate healthcare. It’s unacceptable to us that people go without necessary healthcare simply due to lack of insurance. Our clinic exists to meet this need.
Good Shepherd Clinic provides consistent, quality medical and dental services for the vulnerable members in our community.
We are driven by the example of Jesus. Known as the Great Physician, he met the needs of the sick and the broken. He gave hope to the hopeless. Good Shepherd Clinic shows Christ-like love to our neighbors by offering medical and dental care. Our medical and dental providers, mainly volunteers, offer patients quality, consistent medical care at no cost.
In the late 1960’s, Good Shepherd Ministries began out of a commitment by First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City (FBCOKC) to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the inner city. From the beginning, Good Shepherd programs included a small food pantry, clothes closet, and Bible study.
In April 1977, Good Shepherd expanded its ministries into medical care when two OU medical students and FBCOKC minister Tom Mitscher witnessed first-hand the medical needs of Oklahoma City’s downtown residents. These three, joined by a doctor and nurse, established a makeshift clinic at Chuck and Chris’s Bar in downtown Oklahoma City. They began with only a few supplies and a lot of prayers!
The clinic ran as a two night a week operation until 2012, solely through the efforts of volunteer licensed medical professionals, students, and community members. The two physicians, Fred Loper and Stan Corley, who began volunteering at the clinic in 1977 as medical students, continued volunteering at Good Shepherd throughout the years. Dr. Loper was then hired in 2012 to be the clinic’s first full-time Medical Director, the clinic’s first paid staff person.
Today, Good Shepherd Clinic is housed in the Ramirez Center (222 NW 12 Street), located in the FBCOKC parking lot on the corner of 12th Street and Harvey. The clinic that began in a bar is now a modern, clean, well-equipped medical home for hundreds of uninsured adults. Licensed medical professionals, healthcare students from local universities and other caring volunteers continue to offer an exceptional medical practice that provides prevention, wellness and sick care to low-income, uninsured people throughout central Oklahoma.
In addition to medical care, the Clinic has offered dental care to adults almost since the medical clinic began. Originally offering only extractions, the clinic later began making dentures for people in need. In 2003, Good Shepherd began hosting a children’s dental clinic to offer cleanings and fillings. Now the dental clinic is staffed with the equivalence of one full-time dentist, two dental assistants, and one hygienist. Their services are multiplied through the work of volunteer dentists, dental students, and hygiene students. Every Good Shepherd medical patient receives dental care, and our dental clinic continues to reach deep into the community by offering weekly free extraction nights.
The visions and dreams for the future continue to stay large for Good Shepherd as we seek to fulfill our mission. Join us as we strive to provide quality, Christian care for the uninsured and underserved of Oklahoma City.
“I have tried to get insurance. I’m employed but can’t get insurance through my employer because I work part-time. I make $16 a month too much to qualify for SoonerCare. Good Shepherd Clinic is a God-send. Without them, I don’t think I would be alive.”
— Good Shepherd Clinic Patient