Berkeley Free Clinichttp://www.berkeleyfreeclinic.org
The mission of the Berkeley Free Clinic is to empower individuals and communities by providing accessible, client-centered health services and information. Since the Clinic opened, there has been an ever-present, albeit dynamic, need for its services as social conditions have undergone shifts and changes. It has become something of an icon in the area, and has served countless thousands in a variety of ways during its 45-year history. Its founding principles and structures survive to this day: • Health care is a basic human right and should not be linked to profit. • A great deal of health care knowledge can and should be available and accessible to individuals such that they can have the power to recognize and respond to their own health issues. • Health care should be broadly defined and considerate of the whole being and environment, not simply a response to isolated symptoms. • In keeping with the goals of individual empowerment and the building of healthy communities, locally-based organizations should enable worker participation and responsibility. The BFC has operated as a worker’s collective since its inception. Every volunteer has membership in the collective, and has the right to a voice and a vote in all decision-making processes that affect both their specific service area as well as the entire Clinic. Many of these Clinic volunteers move on to further their knowledge and contribution in the area of health in a variety of capacities throughout the local area, the country, and the world.