The Mercy & Wisdom Community Health Clinic began as a school internship program. In 2001, we set up a clinic providing Naturopathic and Chinese medical care for those who couldn’t afford healthcare in the Portland community.
In 2003, seeing the growing need for medical help in Portland, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association generously provided rental space for Mercy and Wisdom in downtown Portland at the rate of $1.00 per month.
The clinic was open one day a week. Volunteer interns came in the morning to set up four pipe-and-drape offices in the auditorium. At the end of the day, the entire set-up was taken down and stored away until the next week.
And how we grew!
In 2005, a permanent facility was opened at the present location. With the new clinic, we expanded our services to three days a week. More volunteer doctors and students from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine were recruited. We taught our interns to practice Naturopathic and Chinese Medicines as an integrative approach to healthcare.
We have continued to grow.
In January of 2008, we opened our doors five days per week. Every week 20 volunteer practitioners and 15 staff volunteers take care of an average of 60 patients.
The seeds we planted as we began Mercy and Wisdom back in 2001 continue to bear fruit.
We have moved in order to serve our missions.
In 2012, we moved to our current SE location from Chinatown location. We have grown out of our previous location, and moved in order to serve our missions.
At this moment, we serve an average of 1,050 patients on an annual basis. 93% of these patients are on low-income status (household income under 200% federal poverty level line). 30% of our current patients are minorities and about 15% are non-English speakers. We also serve our Trans community; about 15% of our patients are transgender.