My name is Bernadette (Bernie) Lim, and I am the founder of the Freedom Community Clinic, a pop-up clinic providing free, integrative healing services for underserved communities in the Bay Area to address multi-faceted root causes of chronic disease and healthcare. Through our services, we aim to provide free medical and holistic healing services in the Bay Area to address maladies of the spirit and soul that manifest in the physical body. We also advocate for whole-person care, choice, knowledge, and liberation from intersectional forms of justice for the people we serve.

When I was growing up in the greater Los Angeles area, my mom’s immigrant background proved challenging, especially in healthcare encounters. With her limited English as an immigrant to the United States from the Philippines, my mom relies on my dad to fill out medical paperwork and fully understand what the doctor tells her during her appointments. Yet, when it comes to women’s health issues, my dad’s comprehension is as incomplete as my mom’s. With the barriers of language and medical jargon, my mom has little say in matters of her own health. With an urge to help my family, I strived to learn of the complexities of medicine and healthcare as my mom’s medical encounters placed responsibility on my shoulders at a young age.

Now, at 24 years old and as a MD/MS dual degree student at the Joint Medical Program with UCSF School of Medicine and UC Berkeley School of Public Health, I believe it my responsibility now more than ever to create and facilitate community-centered initiatives that address health injustices I see so starkly in the Bay Area. As the first person in my family to have a professional degree and become a doctor, I want to become a physician who is able to create intimate relationships with my patients and also bring an entrepreneurial, activist mindset to how facets of inequality and community voices must be included on conversations of healthcare inequity both nationally and internationally. Since being in the Bay Area, I have begun to learn more about the historical context and present day realities of poverty, inequality, and disenfranchisement of underserved areas in Oakland and beyond. I have also learned from and am inspired by community leaders who have taught me about the rich history of resistance, entrepreneurship, and healing in the Bay Area. I hope to contribute to freedom and liberation efforts in the Bay Area and beyond by leading Freedom Clinic as part of the health revolution that provides quality free/affordable whole-person healthcare directly to the people.

The mission of the Freedom Community Clinic is to bring holistic well-being and whole-person healthcare to communities in need. Through our weekly clinic that pops up in existing spaces where community gathers, we aim to provide urgent care and primary care services alongside demystifying access to and use of holistic therapies such as counseling, acupuncture, nutrition, massage therapy, spiritual care, social work, support groups. Weekly community clinics rotate between a focused clinic for underserved youth, underserved women, LGTBQ+ folx, immigrant/refugees, and a wider first-come, first-serve community clinic available widely. Ultimately, we envision a health revolution meeting people where they’re at and nourishing the bodies, minds, and spirits of under-resourced youth, families, and communities. We also aim to initiate revolutionary dialogue between Western medicine and holistic health experts to envision a more just liberating healing practice and way of life.  

The Freedom Community Clinic is aiming to launch its first set of clinics in the summer of 2019. We are looking for help in several areas including:

  1. community spaces and organizations in the Oakland/Bay Area that are able to host a one-time/regular pop-up clinic in June-August 2019
  2. existing health justice organizations and services that are interested in creating mutually beneficial partnerships
  3. primary care and holistic healing practitioners that are available to offer their services at community rates
  4. passionate volunteers who resonate in our mission and would want to do focus groups, marketing/branding, and outreach

If you’re interested in any of these efforts, please e-mail info@freedomcommunityclinic.org.

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