About St. Clare Health Mission

In 1992 representatives of health and social service organizations, throughout the community, began a collaborative effort to address health care access for the poor and uninsured. A unique and innovative program emerged. Volunteer healthcare providers join together, several times per week, to provide free healthcare to those who had gone without due to a lack of financial resources.

In the past 28 years, volunteers have served over 18,000 people in over 80,000 visits to the clinic, treating health conditions ranging from coughs to cancer. 

St. Clare Health Mission, started by Sr. Leclare Beres, FSPA, is named for Clare of Assisi, a contemporary of Saint Francis, who renounced all of her possessions – even giving away her shoes – as she devoted her life to the care of the poor. The term “health mission” describes not only the program, but the motivation which guides it.  

Sr. LeClare Beres, FSPA

 “Those participating in this initiative share a belief that,  regardless of financial status, ethnicity or religious belief, health care is a basic human right and that we all share in the benefits of caring for our neighbors.”

Our Mission Statement

The St. Clare Health Mission is operated with the support and involvement of interested individuals, health and social service agencies throughout the La Crosse area.

The Mission exists to create access to selected preventive, primary health care and specialty services for those who would otherwise find such services economically inaccessible.

This will be achieved through:

  • Periodic operation of a site, properly equipped and staffed to administer health assessments and effect referrals or provide care as appropriate, and as resources allow;
  • Provisions for free care to those who could otherwise receive none;
  • Creation of volunteer opportunities for physicians, dentists, nurses, social workers and other professional and support staff to enjoy the intrinsic rewards associated with volunteer service, and opportunities for students and residents in these disciplines to achieve practical experience;
  • Coordination with area health and human service providers, to access resources, assess progress, and make program modifications as appropriate.

Values and Guiding Principles

  • Those participating in this initiative share a belief that all individuals, regardless of financial status, are deserving of basic health care, and that all share in the benefit of that care.