HOUSTON – Hope Clinic is a community health center providing access to healthcare for all people regardless of their ability to pay. Right now, the center has four locations.
On Friday, crews will break ground on its fifth location on Bellaire Boulevard. The new facility will consist of 70,000 square feet and three stories. They anticipate helping thousands of additional people in need at this location.
Inside Hope Clinic on Corporate Drive waits a diverse group of people waiting to be seen by medical professionals that speak more than 35 different languages.
Mimi Luu is Hope Clinic’s Senior Certified Medical Assistant. She translated KPRC 2 reporter Zach Lashway’s questions into Mandarin for Qui Ring Lui to understand. Lui travels from Baytown to seek medical care.
“In Baytown area they don’t have anything, so that’s why she comes here with us. Because the language barrier, it is very inconvenient for me to go somewhere else, only Hope Clinic is convenient for me to come,” explained Luu, who speaks three languages herself to be able to communicate with her patients. “Mandarin Cantonese, Vietnamese. To be honest with you, the reason I work here for 16 years, it’s very meaningful to me to be able to help people within my community.”
Andrea Caracostis is Hope Clinic’s CEO.
“My most rewarding moments at my job is when I walk through the waiting room. We are a community health center that provides primary care to everybody from 0 to 100, regardless of their liability to pay,” Caracostis said. “Does not mean we are a free clinic; it just means we charge patients according to how much they make on a sliding fee scale and we try to remove barriers to health care access. When you look at all the patients and staff here, you realize you are building something beyond walls, you know you’re building community.”
Right now, the four existing locations serves more than 25,000 people. They anticipate serving an additional 20,000 people when this new clinic opens.
The target date is November of next year. If you want more information on Hope Clinic, go to hopechc.org.