Southwest Community Health Center (SWCHC) is a safety-net clinic providing basic, quality health services to low-income residents of our community with a focus on SW Portland and the surrounding area. We were established to make sure that members of our community without resources to access necessary health services have a place to receive health care.
Many people assume there is no poverty in SW Portland beyond the downtown core. That’s a misperception. Thousands of people, adults and children, who reside outside of the downtown core of SW Portland are low-income and living at or near the poverty level. Many people are struggling to get by. They work hard but often do not have health insurance. Who are they? They are single parents, the working poor, refugees, undocumented workers and older neighbors.
Without health insurance, people have difficulty accessing necessary health services. The uninsured typically wait longer before seeking health care services and are often sicker when they do seek care. The uninsured often have to rely on the emergency room for care, the most expensive health care setting and the medical environment least able to assure continuity of care.
Southwest Community Health Center is a safety-net clinic, part of the health care continuum. Safety-net clinics are a vital link to necessary health services for the uninsured. SWCHC was established to provide basic health services to the uninsured with a focus on the treatment of acute ailments, management of common chronic conditions and provision of preventive care, including immunizations. We are an independent 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization and opened on May 3, 2005. SWCHC is the only safety-net clinic for low-income uninsured individuals located in outer SW Portland.
SWCHC is a member of the Coalition of Community Health Centers. Health care professionals from the community volunteer both their time and services to provide care to our patients. Since the clinic opened, physicians from OHSU Department of Family Medicine have volunteered and provided health services. In January 2007, physicians from Legacy Health System Department of Internal Medicine also began volunteering their services. In addition, nurses, other health professionals, and community members volunteer their time to fill both clinical and non-clinical roles at the clinic. We welcome and greatly appreciate community volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering at SW Community Health Center, please view Volunteer Opportunities.