OAKLAND, CA, May 29, 2018 – The Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California is celebrating its 10th anniversary of serving the health care needs of the poor and uninsured. The average span of faith-based medical clinics is just 2 ½ years but the Malta Clinic continues to grow in services, number of patients served and geographic reach.
The Clinic has provided free on-site preventative health services and treatment to more than 30,000 patients since first opening its doors in Oakland in 2008, thanks to the dedication of more than 50 volunteer physicians and nurses, and a small full-time medical staff. The Clinic is dedicated to carrying forward the Order of Malta’s centuries-old mission of “upholding human dignity and caring for people in need.”
“Our Clinic is a critical health care lifeline for thousands of people,” said John Christian, KM, Board chair of the Order of Malta Clinic. “This milestone presents us with an opportunity to recognize the many individuals who have played pivotal roles in the Clinic’s success and will help us raise awareness and resources to provide even more services.” Christian noted that the Clinic is poised to grow its service network beyond Oakland in the coming months, recently purchasing a 34-foot mobile unit which will deliver health care throughout the Bay Area. “Our mobile clinic marks the next chapter in our organization’s mission. It will provide our team with a means to reach even more people in need, especially those who are unable to travel to Oakland,” he added. The mobile clinic will provide care to communities throughout Contra Costa County, and potentially beyond. Clinic staff are working to establish partnerships with local parishes and community organizations to develop scheduling and enroll additional volunteer support. The mobile clinic will be unveiled in June at an Order of Malta event in San Francisco, and will begin service in August.
In addition to the launch of the mobile clinic, a key element of the 10th anniversary will be the Order of Malta Clinic’s annual gala, to be held on October 2 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. This year, A Knight for Champions: 10th Annual Silver Chalice Awards Dinner will honor Quest Diagnostics Chairman, President and CEO Stephen Rusckowski and Deborah O’Hara Rusckowski, DM, both major supporters of the Order of Malta and the Oakland Clinic. Quest Diagnostics provides laboratory testing to the Clinic at highly discounted rates, while Deborah Rusckowski, a registered critical care nurse and health care advocate, serves as a Delegate for the Order of Malta to the United Nations. The Rusckowskis will journey from New York City for the honor.
“The gala will recognize the Rusckowskis and all of our great volunteers, staff and community supporters whose goodwill and dedication know no bounds,” said Sara Cumbelich, event chair and Clinic Board member. “This event has grown in stature and impact each year, touching many members of our community who have no prior experience with the Order of Malta or our Clinic,” she said. “We want to expand our work and inspire more support, so we can help even more people receive quality health care regardless of ability to pay.”
Cumbelich noted that The Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California has been ahead of the curve on delivery of health care, and plans to stay there by investing in its future. “The Order of Malta was founded in 1048 in Europe, providing protection and medical care for pilgrims en route to Jerusalem. More than a thousand years later, we’re still helping those in difficult situations with their health care needs,” she said.
About the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California
Founded in 2008, the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California is a nonprofit medical clinic located in Oakland, California. Led by the Order of Malta, the Clinic provides free on-site preventative health care services and treatment to uninsured and low-income patients. The Clinic has a volunteer staff comprised of more than 50 volunteer physicians and nurses, and has cared for more than 30,000 patients to date.