Good Samaritan Health Services (GSHS) effectively fills an important niche in the health care of Tulsa’s underserved populations, not springing from a governmental mandate, but from a Christian grass-roots effort in our community. Last year, GSHS facilitated more than 8,200 patient visits – many with patients experiencing chronic diseases that need compassionate and consistent high-quality healthcare.
GSHS began in 1998 as a partnership between two organizations: In His Image, a faith-based medical residency program; and Cornerstone Assistance Network, a Christian human services organization. These organizations collaborated with other community leaders in response to an urgent need identified in the Tulsa community: Tulsa’s poorest citizens needed quality free medical care in a safe, convenient and supportive environment. Free clinics were held at Tulsa area apartment complexes in areas where services were most needed.
In 1999, GSHS unveiled its first mobile clinic: a refurbished 37-foot recreational vehicle. GSHS volunteers and staff worked with local churches, which provided facilities and volunteers for patient check-in, triage, counseling and optional prayer service. By 2000, the mobile clinic had 1,345 annual patient visits and, with the addition of a second mobile clinic (a 63-foot tractor trailer) in 2007, appointments increased 600% over the next nine years. Today, GSHS serves nearly 700 patients every month at one of its 40 monthly clinics at 14 locations across Tulsa County. Because the GSHS clinic is mobile, we can provide doctor consultation, testing and prescription medicines wherever the community needs the most care.
Good Samaritan also serves as the template of service for Mobile Medical Ministries, a subset of the Foster and Lynn Friess family Foundation, which encourages the start-up of new mobile medical clinics.