Walking into the Order of Malta Northern California Clinic on the campus of the shimmering Cathedral of Christ the Light in downtown Oakland, feels more like a private practice than the waiting room of a no-fee clinic — a receptionist is booking appointments over the phone and patients are checking in. And by the way that the doctors and nurses interact with patients and each other – their helpful attitudes, their encouraging smiles — you know that this is a special place.
The Order of Malta began providing medical care to the poor and sick in 1048, with the founding of a hospice infirmary for pilgrims in Jerusalem. Here in Northern California, the Order has a long history of support for projects that enable our neediest neighbors to meet their basic needs, with a special emphasis on medical care.
Building on the traditions of service on which the Order was founded, medical services provided at the Order of Malta Northern California Clinic are free — no one is turned away for the lack of ability to pay. In fact, the Clinic refuses to accept payment for any services offered.
Blessed by Bishop Vigneron upon its opening in 2008, the Oakland Clinic has seen a marked increase in the number of patients seeking care as unemployment remains high in the Bay Area. The crisis of healthcare in our country is not going away, and there will always be a need for the free healthcare that the Order of Malta Northern California Clinic provides.
The Clinic is managed by a paid staff of five: Medical Director, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, Office Manager and Receptionist. A full range of medical services are currently provided by volunteers, including physicians, a nurse practitioner and 24 registered nurses. Each week, resident physicians from Kaiser Permanente take a rotation in the clinic.
Cathedral of Christ The Light – Oakland, CA