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Stanford Report, September 24, 2003

Free community clinic opens doors in San Jose, needs medical volunteers


Medical students and faculty physicians may volunteer their time at a new clinic operated by students from the School of Medicine. The Pacific Free Clinic provides basic health-care services to low-income adults in Santa Clara County. It is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Overfelt High School, 1835 Cunningham Road in San Jose.

Stanford medical students got the idea for the clinic after participating in outreach projects at Asian cultural festivals where they found that language and financial barriers prevented many Vietnamese immigrants from visiting a doctor.

"A couple of medical students were involved in health screenings in east San Jose, and a bunch of the people they screened were immigrants who didn’t have access to health care," said medical student Nina Chinosornvatana, one of the clinic managers. "The students came up with the idea that it would be great to have a clinic for these people."

Like the Arbor Free Clinic, which Stanford medical students have operated in Menlo Park for the past 13 years, the Pacific Free Clinic offers primary care services, medications, laboratory tests, medical and insurance referrals and screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All services are free, and interpreters are available to assist patients who speak Spanish, Vietnamese or Manderin Chinese.

The clinic will be staffed by medical students, undergraduates and volunteer physicians from Stanford and the community. While students will run the clinic and take medical histories, physicians will perform the actual exams and diagnoses.

"We just want to provide really good health care for people who aren’t getting health care at all and make an impact in the community," said Chinosornvatana.

Students and physicians interested in volunteering at the clinic should contact David Wang at More information about the clinic is available on the Internet at

The clinic is jointly sponsored by the Stanford School of Medicine and the School-Based Health Clinics of The Health Trust, soon to be known as School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County. Other supporters include the California HealthCare Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Chanwell Medical Group and private donors.

Arbor Free Clinic celebrates 10 years of service (5/10/00)