SOLANA BEACH: Clinic Caters to Low-Income Population
Today's San Diego Union-Tribune profiles St. Leo's Medical Clinic in Solana Beach, staffed by an all-volunteer group of practitioners who provide inexpensive medical care to the working poor. Nearly 70 volunteers -- physicians, nurses, residents from the Sharp family practice program and medical students from University of California-San Diego Medical School -- rotate shifts at the clinic and donate their services to low-income patients who come "from as far as Carlsbad" to receive consultations for $5 or less, free prescription drugs and free surgical procedures. Retired Dr. G. Richard Wheelock and engineer Al Graff founded the clinic with the backing of the St. James Catholic Church. With the help of private donations and grants, Wheelock and Graff transformed a "lean-to attached to the [Catholic] mission" into a "respectable clinic, with three consultation rooms." St. Leo's medical cabinet is stocked with samples of expensive new drugs left by pharmaceutical salesmen at the Del Mar Medical Clinic and by common drugs that the clinic buys. Area clinics pool their resources for St. Leo's patients, with the Del Mar Medical Clinic providing X-rays and laboratory services and La Jolla Radiology handling mammograms, CAT scans and ultrasound tests (Kaye, 3/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.