The mission of The Salvation Army Free Clinic is to provide quality service and compassionate care for our patients and their families, as well as our staff and community. The Free Clinic serves Ventura County by providing dental and medical care to the poor and uninsured. We treat an average of 600 patients a month, providing primary care for problems such as tonsillitis, bronchitis, ear infections, skin diseases, urinary tract infections, uncomplicated diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. At the Oxnard Medical & Dental Clinic, no one is ever turned away for lack of funds.
The medical and dental clinics primarily serve indigent, uninsured, migrant, and near-homeless individuals who cannot easily access medical care except in emergency situations. The clinic staff includes two paid RNs, a paid dentist, and volunteer physicians, dentists, pharmacists and nurses. Podiatrists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors are available on a limited basis. Laboratory and X-ray testing are provided by St. Johns Regional Medical Center and Community Memorial Hospital. Referrals for advanced or complicated conditions are made to the Ventura County Medical Center, its associated clinics and other volunteer consultants in the community.
The Medical Clinic began in 1992 when a Salvation Army social worker at the Corps noted that many of the people requesting services were not receiving health care because of their poverty. The social worker was able to enlist the services of a public health nurse to set up health services for the clientele. Initially, the nurse administered immunizations and HIV testing at the Corps once a week, but she was later joined by an MD. Months later, health services were expanded to twice a week when another physician joined the team. In 1993, the nurse spoke at a meeting of the Ventura County Chapter of the Christian Medical & Dental Association in Camarillo, and her explanation of the health care needs of the poor in their community brought two other doctors to the clinic. These two physicians began promoting the vision for a more formal Medical Clinic and soon, other doctors began volunteering their services as well.
This vision became a reality in 1996 when the Corps moved into its new building on Wooley Road which was constructed with two professional medical exam rooms, an interview room, nurse's office, chart storage room, dental office and a room for prescription medication. In 1999, the Dental Clinic was opened with the help of a local DDS who assisted with the certification process and served as it first volunteer dentist.
In 2005, the clinic became a state licensed, stand alone free clinic, continuing its services as one of the few licensed facilities available to the uninsured in the community. The goal is to eventually move the clinic into a larger building on an adjacent lot and provide expanded services to low-income seniors and youth.
The Oxnard Corps mainly serves low-income, migrant farm workers in Ventura County through safety-net services such as rent/utility assistance, medical/dental services, food pantry assistance and spiritual counseling.
- Medical Clinic - Services offered free-of-charge include medical assessments, simple blood tests, health education and medications
- Dental Clinic - Services offered free-of-charge include oral examinations, fillings, simple extractions, and X-rays; dental cleanings are referred to Oxnard College's Dental Hygiene program
- Health Education Program - The clinic provides a culturally and linguistically (English/Spanish) competent Diabetes Education Class to clients (a majority of the patients at our clinic are diabetic) who are often illiterate in their own language and have extremely limited English language skills. Every diabetic patient receives a two-hour initial consultation with the Diabetic Nurse Educator and a 15-minute consultation thereafter as they come in monthly to refill their medications
- Food Pantry Services - Provides weekly feedings to seniors confined to their homes, sit-down meals to clients during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and over 200 food baskets per month
- Safety Net Services - Rent & utility assistance, and transportation & clothing vouchers
- Seasonal Services - Utility assistance, Summer camp program, Thanksgiving Feeding program, and Christmas programs; including, Adopt-a-Family and Christmas basket distributions
- Sunday worship - Spiritual services include music instruction, women's ministry, Bible study and youth services
- Winter Homeless Shelter - The Oxnard Corps supports the efforts of the West Ventura County winter homeless shelter, providing cots and meals for homeless individuals during the time when the local armory is unavailable
- Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous also meet several times a week on the premises