John ChristianWelcome to the inaugural newsletter for our beloved clinic. Through this newsletter we hope to inform friends and supporters of the clinic of the latest developments at “the miracle on 21st Street.”

It’s my pleasure and privilege to serve as President of the Board of the Order of Malta Clinic for Northern California. The Clinic serves a vital role in maintaining the physical health of the uninsured and marginalized in our Bay Area community. What began as a dream 10 years ago with then-Bishop Allen Vigneron, has come into existence due to the vision of exceptional, dedicated leaders within the Order, including, most notably, the indefatigable efforts of the late Richard Madden, GCM and Bill McInerney, KM. Today it is a thriving clinic that has certainly beat the odds, as clinics of its kind usually only last two years compared to our 10.

Today, the clinic operates three and one-half days per week. We sponsor a podiatry clinic at the St. Vincent de Paul Society once a month. Twenty-three volunteer physicians, interns, nurses and nurse practitioners, representing over a dozen medical specialties, make up our staff. Members of the Order volunteer in many capacities—physicians, nurses, administrative support, board oversight, and some just lending a sympathetic ear to our patients in the waiting area.

Truly, the clinic is the signature program in the Western Association. This isn’t boastful —it’s a fact of which we can all be justly proud. As we grow in hours and breadth of services, we have come to realize that the need for a well-staffed, well-equipped clinic is greater than ever. Since opening our doors, we have had nearly 23,000 patient visits.

None of this would be possible without the support of the many friends of the clinic, who share our passion for serving the sick and the poor among us. I hope you enjoy this newsletter and find it informative. If you’d like to learn more about the clinic—just ask! All of the volunteers at the Clinic love to share its history. Our grateful patients make it all worth the effort.

I also hope that that you will be able to join us on October 11th at the Silver Chalice Dinner as we honor one of our founders, Robert Stein, M.D., KM. Sara Cumbelich and her hard-working committee promise a magical evening at the St. Francis Yacht Club – you won’t want to miss it! Details on the event can be found at http://orderofmaltaclinic.com/fundraising-dinner/.

On behalf of our lords, the poor and the sick, thank you for your support.

John P. Christian, KM