Oasis Free Clinics, which serves about 500 people in the Brunswick area, is doubling the size of its clinic with help of $833,000 in federal funding secured by lawmakers
In 1992, Dr. Peter McGuire, recognizing the need for medical care for those experiencing homelessness in the Brunswick area, started a free medical clinic one day a week in a closet at the Tedford-Oasis Shelter, now known as Tedford Housing.
Together with his colleagues, he slowly expanded the clinic, which is now known as Oasis Free Clinics, and serves about 500 uninsured patients each year.
Friday marked a milestone for the organization, which started renovations on its new $1.1 million Maine Street clinic, made possible with $833,000 in federal funding secured by U.S.Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King. The new clinic is double the size of its current location on Baribeau Drive and will allow it to serve hundreds more patients.
Seth Ramus, president of the clinic’s board, credited McGuire and his colleagues for their vision.
“They patched together a new care model for those who fell through the cracks in our health care system,” Ramus said. “This is an extraordinary legacy.”
Over the years, the clinic has expanded to provide dental care, mental health services, prescription assistance, and mobile medical care.
“All the things we take for granted,” McGuire said. “(The clinic) is about building a community where we care for each other.”
The clinic’s current 2,000-square-foot facility limits the number of patients it can serve, according to Executive Director Anita Ruff.
“This reinforces our commitment to ensuring accessible health care in Midcoast Maine,” she said. “The move represents a substantial investment in the community and underscores Oasis Free Clinics’ dedication to improving the overall health and wellbeing of the people we serve.”
Collins and King secured the funding in 2022.
“Mainers in every part of our state should be able to receive the vital medical services they need, which is why I have long advocated for funding to support access to quality health care,” Collins said in a statement at the time. “Oasis Free Clinics provides essential medical care to vulnerable populations in Maine, and this funding will allow the nonprofit to expand its health and dental care to serve even more people.”
Ruff and Ramus said the demand for its services has increased recently, especially with the arrival of migrants who may not qualify for health care services like MaineCare.
“The needs for Oasis’ services not only persists, it’s growing,” Ramus said. “We are excited to grow Oasis for our patients and our community.”
The new clinic is expected to open July 1.
Jason Claffey — (207) 504-8261 email@example.com