The most recent Small Area Health Insurance Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that 20 percent of Philadelphians — more than 189,000 — are uninsured, thus topping the list of counties in Pennsylvania. For them, and for the countless under-insured in the city, health care would be prohibitive were it not for the many government-funded and non-profit clinics that provide quality, low-cost medical services throughout Philly.

Covenant House, Inc.

Covenant House Health Services
251 E. Bringhurst St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144
(215) 844-0181
Mt. Pleasant Medical Center
8125-27 Stenton Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19150
(215) 248-7561

Serving the Germantown and the northwest areas of Philadelphia since 1964, Covenant House’s two locations are federally qualified health centers and thus receive federal funding to directly subsidize their costs. No one is ever turned away, regardless of their ability to pay, but patients need to make an appointment first and provide insurance and income information. Delivering attentive, comprehensive primary care is the group’s hallmark, serving the needs of young and old alike with everything from pediatric and geriatric medicine to prenatal care and behavioral health. Preventative care is assured as well and includes school-related vaccinations, flu shots and periodic check-ups.

Related: Access to Physician Care May Be A Matter of Life of Death

Esperanza Health Centers

Kensington Avenue
3156 Kensington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 831-1100
Fifth Street
2940 N. 5th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19133
(215) 221-6633
Hunting Park
4417 N. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19140
(215) 302-3600

Esperanza is a one-of-a-kind, faith-based non-profit organization that provides bilingual care to under-insured or uninsured Philadelphians regardless income or status. Started in June of 1989 by Carolyn Klaus as a small walk-in clinic, it continues to primarily serve the Latino and African communities at three locations to this day. The centers are manned by 23 mostly-bilingual clinical care providers and 130 staff members. Last year alone, Esperanza treated more than 7,000 patients, clocking in some 36,000 visits, and offering a full range of medical services for all ages. A Christian organization, Esperanza also offers social services, mental and, of course, spiritual guidance, partnering with churches and schools and even offering fitness programs for kids. Its Community Health Promoter Program trains community leaders and lay people on health-related issues to help them distribute that knowledge to the community.

Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Broad Street Health Center
1415 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 235-7944
Haddington Health Center
Progress Haddington Plaza
5619-25 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(215) 471-2761

Started by a small group in Philadelphia in 1967 as Better Planning, Inc., in 1983, the organization started receiving federal funding, enabling it to offer medical services, the very next year. Both the Haddington and Broad Street locations offer full-service primary care to low-income city residents of all ages and are affiliated with a number of local hospitals including CHOP and Pennsylvania Hospital. Spectrum provides preventative services, including periodic physicals and immunizations and flu shots, and it offers a full spectrum of assistance, including acute and chronic disease care. CEO Phyllis B. Cater said its third site is scheduled for completion next summer, which will triple its capacity for medical and dental offerings, and the site will include a kitchen for nutrition and wellness demonstrations. Count on wellness programs, a prescription dispensary and a community room, she said.

Related: Einstein Medical Center Branch Will Open This September in Montgomery County

Carol Josel, a Blue Bell, PA resident, is a learning specialist, author of three books, and contributor. Her work can be found here