Lack of grant funding forces northeast Houston clinic to close its doors

The Shalom Health Clinic saw over 3,000 patients every year. Now they're all left with no where to go for their health care needs
December 27, 2013 4:53:04 PM PST
Some patients using a southeast Houston clinic are looking for a new place for health care after the clinic was shut down.

The clinic, which first opened at Milby Church off Broadway, became the place to go for anyone regardless of their financial or insurance situation. And that's why on average, the small staff at Shalom Health Clinic saw over 3,000 patients every year. Now all those patients are left with no where to go for their health care needs.

It's the time of year Ambrosia Hernandez makes her famous tamales. It's also the time of year she has to really watch her diabetes and cholesterol.

For help, she's turned to the Shalom Health Clinic in southeast Houston for eight years. But now, the clinic known for its low-cost and high-quality health care is permanently closed, leaving thousands of patients like Hernandez in the dark.

"A lot of the patients actually took it quite hard," said the clinic's business manager, Patricia Rivera. "There were several patients that actually broke down when they spoke to the doctor about it."

The clinic offered low to no cost health care, prescriptions and even mammograms to mostly Hispanic woman who wouldn't otherwise get help.

It was Funded by private grants. Rivera says those grants simply ran out.

"We are concerned for the patients that don't have the mobility that basically may end up forgoing their medication or their medical treatment," she said.

"It is a very sad thing especially that it happened at the Christmas time," said Dr. Mustafa Chagani, CEO of V Care Clinic.

Dr. Mustafa Chagani runs a similar not for profit clinic in Pasadena. He's offered to help take on the thousands of patients who are now without health care.

But he's afraid the 6-mile distance between the Shalom Clinic and the new clinic may be too much for some patients.

Hernandez, who doesn't own a car, says she's now forced to ration her pills. She hopes they don't run out before she finds a new place to turn for healthcare.

Several patients tell us they are holding out hope for the clinic to find last-minute funds and reopen, but we're told that the shut down is permanent, and all staff have also been let go.

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