PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria’s Cordoba Healthcare Clinic serves patients who are either uninsured or are underinsured.
The clinic, established in 2016, is the brainchild of the late Dr. Wasim Ellahi, who brought together people of different expertise to volunteer their time at the clinic.
“He really wanted, for the community of Peoria, some establishment where people can access the clinic, without any fear of the bill,” said clinic volunteer Dr. Aiyub Patel.
Dr. Ellahi was dedicated to keeping the clinic going, even when his health no longer allowed him to care for patients.
“Even when he was on the deathbed, I was told he called the nurses here and said ‘you should continue this, even after I pass away,'” said clinic volunteer Dr. Noor Khaiser.
The clinic operates on Sundays from 1 P.M. until 4 P.M. and Dr. Patel said services are free for patients.
“We do not charge them anything, and it is a non-profit organization, so we collect donations and on that donation actually we do all the labs, the x-rays or CT scans, or whatever else treatment wise they need, any medication, we actually provide to the patient for free,” said Dr. Patel.
Dr. Khaiser said it can be hard for those who are uninsured or underinsured to receive proper care.
“You can only get critical care, you can go to the emergency room, and they’ll take care of you but once you get out, there’s nobody to see you or follow up with you, in spite of our best efforts. This is where this clinic comes in,” said Dr. Khaiser.
He said the clinic benefits many, including immigrants coming to the Peoria area. And with a diverse volunteer group, he hopes they feel right at home.
“New immigrants, they have no health insurance, or they have very little insurance, and they can barely speak English many of these folks, so they come here, and we get people from different countries, and different languages and I’m sure they feel, they really appreciate the help they get, and they can walk in here anytime,” said Dr. Khaiser.