Freedom Community Clinic offers whole-person healing in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Freedom Community Clinic combines western medicine with the strengths of indigenous traditional healing.

Bernadette Lim, who is in her last semester of medical school at UCSF, founded the clinic about a year and a half ago and serves as the director.

"We bring community-centered, whole-person healing to underserved communities in the Bay Area and beyond prioritizing Black, indigenous and undocumented communities," Lim said.

Rather than have residents visit an unfamiliar office or hospital, the Freedom Community Clinic goes to the neighborhoods for free. They currently provide weekly services in West and East Oakland.

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"What makes our model at Freedom Community Clinic so unique, is that also at the center of whole-person healing is making sure that each person feels seen, heard and loved and affirmed," Lim said. "The truth is that in our current medical system, there isn't really room for that. It's very much so a 15-minute appointment. There's a goal to it."

Several studies have identified a substantial drop in preventative care and a sharp increase in stress during the pandemic. There's a heightened presence in marginalized communities. Demand for the Freedom Community Clinic exploded over the last year.

"It's pretty amazing you'll see a massage therapist, acupuncturist, herbalists, actually work with doctors and nurses to do wound care, Narcan training and health education.

Lim is forgoing residency after graduation. She feels the greatest need is on the ground with the clinic.

"I feel like that's a unique calling and I know that it will bridge the strengths of so many different people and communities that have not been in dialogue with each other."

The Freedom Community Clinic's grassroots movement in Oakland has provided community and whole-person healing to more than 2,300 people. Click here to learn more about the clinic's programs.

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