Haight Ashbury Free Clinics And Walden House Merger

San Francisco, July 21, 2011 – Two of San Francisco’s most revered nonprofit social service agencies – Haight Ashbury Free Clinics and Walden House – announced on July 6 that they have merged into a single organization that will provide both primary care and behavioral health services to the most vulnerable members of our society.

"This merger will give our clients a seamless integration of care, allowing them multiple entry points to access primary and mental health care,” said Dr. Vitka Eisen, CEO of the new Haight Ashbury Free Clinics-Walden House, and herself a graduate of Walden House’s acclaimed substance abuse treatment program. “We now have the expanded capacity to provide comprehensive medical, substance abuse and mental health care to the community we serve. I’m excited by the range and quality of care we’ll be able to offer our clients."
Founded in 1967 during the Summer of Love, the invaluable Haight Ashbury Free Clinics (HAFC) has been an innovator in delivering integrated health care services to many of the people who can least afford them. Its famous motto is “Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege.” Like Walden House, it serves the uninsured, the homeless and the socio-economically disenfranchised, including those with HIV/AIDS. Eighty percent of HAFC’s clients have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level. Last year, HAFC provided primary medical care to 7,559 patients at its historic home on Clayton Street and at its Integrated Care Center in the Mission District.

Walden House, which was founded in the Haight-Ashbury in 1969 to help homeless adolescents with substance abuse problems, is a national leader in recovery services. Last year, it served 9,206 clients with mental health and substance abuse problems at its various residential and outpatient centers around California. These include in-prison treatment programs, and facilities in San Francisco and Los Angeles providing drug and alcohol treatment and mental health, vocational and housing services for people transitioning back into their communities.

“Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, Inc. is a founding member of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium,” said John Gressman, President and CEO of SFCCC. “The SFCCC Board is extremely happy that these two San Francisco non profits were able to merge their collective resources. San Franciscans accessing the service will receive a rare and exciting health care opportunity. With their efforts to keep the patient the center of their work, HAFC and Walden House have accomplished a way to fully maximize stretched resources. SFCCC is proud of the work that has been achieved.”

For more information you can visit http://www.hafci.org/