701 South Joplin Ave. | Joplin, MO | 417.624.5500 | Fax 417.624.8228
Our mission is to improve the health of people in our community without access to medical and dental care.
8:30-4:30 Monday-Thursday

Our Story

History of the Community 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 opened at 3:00 pm every Thursday and stay open until the last patient was seen, typically six or seven hours a night.

In 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 2006, the Clinic provided care by appointment when volunteer physicians were available. Today, the Clinic operates four 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 now sees walk-in patients as well as those with an appointment.

The Clinic continues to expand and improve its services.  A partnership with Heart to Heart International established an in-house laboratory. The Community Clinic is constantly working at building new relationships with hospitals, physicians, dentists, schools, and other volunteers interested in supporting the Clinic's mission.

Clinic Partners

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

Patient Description (based on 2014 data)

  • The Community Clinic services uninsured individuals from birth to 64 years of age. The average age is 52 years old.
  • They most likely have a part time job, but 73% have a yearly income less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. 
  • 56% are female while 44% are 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, and toothaches.
  • 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.