701 South Joplin Ave. | Joplin, MO | 417.624.5500
Our mission is to improve the health of people in our community without access to medical and dental care.

Our Story

2013 Annual Report

History of Clinic

The Community Clinic of Joplin began in 1993 as a one night per week clinic that was held in the Sunday School classrooms at First Presbyterian Church. Dr. Charles Bentlage and Dr. Michael Nagle worked with emergency room physicians and nurses from Freeman Hospital and St. John’s Medical Center (now Mercy Hospital) to provide acute care for residents without access to health care. The Clinic would open at 3:00 pm every Thursday and stay open until the last patient was seen, typically six or seven hours a night.

In the year 2000, Mr. Joe Berger and family donated the property at 701 S. Joplin Avenue. Members of the community came together and donated the goods and services necessary to renovate and stock the building, establishing it as the medical clinic that it is today.

The Clinic continued to operate one evening per week for several years. By the year 2006, the Clinic was providing care by appointment when volunteer physicians were available. Today, the Clinic operates five days a week, providing a wide variety of medical and dental services to its patients. With the employment of a full time Nurse Practitioner in 2010, the Clinic can now see walk-in patients all day long as well as those with an appointment.

The Community Clinic continues to expand and improve its services and care. Short term counseling services have been added to treat tornado survivors that are dealing with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. A partnership with Heart to Heart International led to the establishment of an in-house laboratory that will greatly benefit the Clinic’s patients. In addition, the Community Clinic is constantly working at building new relationships with both hospitals and new physicians and dentists coming to the area.

Clinic Partners

The Community Clinic partners with a wide variety of local agencies and organizations to treat patients and provide services. Community partners include: Freeman Health System, Mercy Hospital Joplin, Children’s Haven, Economic Security Council, Lafayette House, Red Cross, area shelters and recovery houses, all United Way agencies and Missouri Southern State University. The Community Clinic is a clinical rotation site for the MSSU nursing and respiratory therapy students and works with the dental hygiene program to provide services to Clinic patients.

The Community Clinic is also a member of the Community Health Collaborative which provides services and implements projects such as the Live Smart and Breathe Easy campaigns.

Patient Description

Who is the Community Clinic patient?

  • The Community Clinic services uninsured individuals from birth to 64 years of age. The average age is 43 years.
  • They earn up to 150% of the federal poverty level (a 4 person family = $30,000 a year).
  • They most likely have a part time job, but 78% have a yearly income of $10,000 or less.
  • 58% are female vs. 42% male
  • More than 50% of patients live in Joplin and all call the Community Clinic their primary source of medical care.
  • The most common diagnoses are hypertension (high blood pressure), Type II Diabetes (adult onset), back pain, toothaches and sinusitis (sinus infection).

(based on 2011 data)

The Community Clinic’s patients are among the over 60,000 uninsured residents in Southwest Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton and Vernon counties.