Samaritan Free Health Clinic
Backstory and Context
In 1992, Dick Kester, co-chair of the Care for the Poor Committee at St. Agnes Hospital saw a need to expand hospital services to the underserved in the Fond du Lac community and took the idea to his co-chair, Rev. Byron Bunge. The hospital collaborated with the Salvation Army, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Advocap, Fond du Lac County Department of Social Services, Fond du Lac County Dental Society, and Giddings & Lewis to create the Samaritan Free Clinic, now called the Samaritan Health Clinic.
Doreen Holland was the first clinic coordinator and organized the participation of the various hospital departments that were necessary for providing quality health care to uninsured adults. Doctors John Lent and Al Pennings were the first physicians to commit to the project and recruited other volunteer doctors, nurses, and medical staff.
The clinic opened on December 8, 1992, in the Salvation Army building at 237 N. Macy Street. In its first ten years, the clinic served over 4500 patients, and its 80 volunteers donated more than 16,000 hours of time in the clinic.
Staff members and volunteers hosted lunches with other clinics throughout Wisconsin in order to exchange ideas on effective delivery of health care to underserved populations. Samaritan Health Clinic and its volunteers have been recognized by the Wisconsin Health & Hospital Association, Advocap, and the Wisconsin State Medical Society.
Eventually the clinic expanded its services to Dodge County and now serves patients at St. Agnes Hospital and Waupun Memorial Hospital.
Habermann, Shelly. "Samaritan Free Clinic: 10 Years of Care for People in Need." Press release. Agnesian Healthcare, 2002 December 4.
Holland, Doreen. 2020 May 1. Telephone interview with Jenny Lukomski.
The Samaritan Newsletter. December 1998.