Shepherd’s Hope provides free healthcare for the uninsured in Central Florida. Over 2,700 licensed medical and patient service volunteers provide hope and healing to patients at our health centers in Orange and Seminole counties and via telehealth.
Our work benefits our community by helping lower the cost of health insurance and unburdening an already strained health care system.
Shepherd’s Hope is a faith-based non-profit organization of volunteers, founded in 1997 by Dr. William S. Barnes, senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, as a grassroots effort to solve a community issue. Driven by the notion that “none of us knows how to do it all, but all of us know how to do some of it,” Dr. Barnes united the community to bring free healthcare to those in need, raising critical dollars, while volunteer doctors and nurses treated patients in donated space at the Westside Vocational Technical School in Winter Garden.
Today, that vision has evolved with Shepherd’s Hope as the largest free and charitable clinic in Florida, both in the number of locations and patient capacity and as a nationally recognized nonprofit health and human services agency. It relies on extensive collaboration with three Central Florida hospitals systems (AdventHealth, Orlando Health, and Nemours), hundreds of diagnostic and specialty care providers, multiple faith congregations, community organizations, foundations and corporations to fulfill its mission to provide free healthcare to the region’s most at-risk, vulnerable populations.
Shepherd’s Hope provides free medical care, education, and wellness programs to the uninsured in Central Florida. Patient eligibility criteria are:
Shepherd’s Hope contributes directly to Central Florida’s healthcare economy by mitigating the financial impact to hospitals and healthcare providers for the services they provide to uninsured patients. The average cost of an emergency department visit in Central Florida is approximately $6,600; the cost for a patient visit at a Shepherd’s Hope health center is the equivalent of $120. Without the option of Shepherd’s Hope, 22.3% of patients served said they would have to seek care at an area emergency department. Our services result in a cost savings of $17.6 million to the Central Florida healthcare system.
Shepherds Hope benefits businesses by medically caring for the workforce and helping to keep healthcare insurance costs down. Nearly 43% of our patients are working individuals who fall into an income or insurance benefit gap.
Given the never-ending unpredictability surrounding the issue of healthcare, there will always be a need for free and charitable healthcare clinics like Shepherd’s Hope.
56% of patients treated say they would not have sought any medical care without access to a Shepherd’s Hope clinic.
2,700+ licensed medical and general professionals provide over 44,000 volunteer hours, resulting in $2.4 million in in-kind medical services.
$17 million in in-kind medical services were provided through 3 hospital partners, 100 diagnostic and medical specialty practices, and multiple faith congregations.