Hi! We’re glad you want to learn more about The Social Welfare Board (SWB) of Buchanan County. We are a not for profit healthcare clinic created by MO State Statute 205.770 in 1913. As the oldest free clinic in the United States, the founder garnered the support of local governments and community members. Equally as important, the founder persuaded the community’s physicians to treat the impoverished at no charge.

The SWB provides the following clinics: primary medical, women’s health, dental,  behavioral health referrals, and necessary specialty referrals. The clinic is centrally located in the historic Patee Health Market, 904 S. 10th, Suite A, St. Joseph, MO, Monday through Friday, 8:00 – 4:30.

Uninsured individuals residing in Buchanan County with incomes 200% and below the federal poverty level are eligible for medical and dental services. Westside (women’s health & reproductive health) services are charged per a sliding fee schedule, with no geographical restrictions.

The Social Welfare Board is committed to serving this primarily rural area where there are more access barriers to overcome, lower income levels, and higher percentages of uninsured.

Our Mission

To promote and provide quality medical and dental health care to the uninsured poor of the City of St. Joseph and Buchanan County.

Our Vision

For uninsured residents of Buchanan County to have access to affordable health care and be treated with compassion, respect, and dignity.

Our Approach

  • The Social Welfare Board provides low cost primary healthcare and dental care to Buchanan County residents with limited incomes.
  • Women’s Health and Family planning services are provided on a sliding fee scale basis regardless of residency and income.
  • Medical patients are asked to donate $5.00 per medical visit.
  • The clinic connects established patients to free or low cost medications and specialty care.

Guiding Principles

  • Let the health and welfare of the patient be our guiding force
  • Respect the individual and communities we serve
  • Assess and Advocate for the health needs of the underserved populations
  • Maintain qualified staff with a commitment and conviction for our mission
  • Exercise sound governance
  • Deliver a quality and transparent business model embedded with sound integrity, and accountability to the community, partners, donors, and patients
  • Minimize waste and energy consumption while re-using and re-cycling when possible

Treatment Philosophy

The Social Welfare Board provides a patient-centered medical health home approach as defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance to deliver the highest quality of health

  • Statutorily created in 1913, RsMO 205.770
  • Unique provision physicians would provide care at no cost to the patients
  • Oldest free clinic in U.S.