Pacific Garden Mission's Health Clinic was founded in 1951 by two medical students from the University of Illinois. Dean Smith and Jack Pollard took the initiative to open a small clinic at the Mission in order to meet the physical needs of the people who needed help most. Soon after, because of the influx of patients, volunteer physicians began offering their services whenever they could. By 1968, the needs of the clinic were so great, the Mission hired a full-time physician. Dr. Joan Zoellin became the first permanent staff physician.
PGM guests who come to the clinic pay nothing for the care they receive. Men, women and children come to the clinic seeking much needed medical attention and are treated with dignity and love. The medical personnel, both paid and volunteer, work diligently to meet the demanding medical needs of as many as 500 patients a month. Medical conditions range from the common cold to terminal diseases, including AIDS.
A wide range of people come to the PGM clinic for care. The people needing help, unfortunately, are becoming younger and younger. In the early days of the clinic, more alcoholic men in their 50's and 60's were treated. Now with drugs, especially cocaine, more accessible, the clinic's staff treats many more homeless men and women in their 20's and 30's. God is always at work, however, and some of these young addicts are able to kick their habits cold turkey once God fills the void in their lives with His love.
Over the past several years, Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) has sent a team of six to eight optometrists and a few optometry students twice a year to the clinic to screen for glaucoma and prescribe glasses for those who need them.
Dental services have been part of the clinic since its inception. The clinic's dentists meet the needs of the patients whether it be to fill the smallest cavity or deal with total tooth decay and gum disease. Other clinic services include a psychiatric clinic, podiatry clinic, counseling services, preventative medical services, vaccinations, crisis pregnancy counseling, and CPR training for full time staff and Bible Program men and women who are involved with the homeless.
By God's grace and through the sacrifice and love of the clinic staff, all the men, women, and children who come seeking help are cared for not only physically but also spiritually. Each patient is counseled by someone on the PGM staff and is encouraged to seek out God and learn of His unconditional love. It is exciting to see God heal both the bodies and the souls of those He brings to Pacific Garden Mission.
Clinic Nurse assisting a patient.
Clinic Staff: Bessie Lyles, Dr. Dy, Regina Ommen
Pui-Wing Dy M.D., Clinic Director
Voluteer Dentists In 1 of 2 dental rooms