About Us

History

San Francisco Medical Center Outpatient Improvement Programs, Inc. (DBA) South of Market Health Center (SMHC) was established in the State of California as a community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and established SMHC as a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in 1973.

SMHC was one of the first community health clinics in San Francisco and originated as a direct response to the inner city’s lack of access to health care to the poor and medically underserved. For over 40 years, SMHC has operated on the principle that healthcare is a right of every citizen, and a mission to increase access to care, regardless of the individual’s cultural, social, or economic circumstance.

In addition to expanding the range of basic health services, for which South of Market Health Center is known, SMHC has expanded services to three additional sites in SF to provide access to dental, pediatric and behavioral health services for this community.

Mission Statement

The mission of SFMCOIP/South of Market Health Center is to ensure health care access to quality comprehensive health care services for persons who are medically needy or medically underserved and have traditionally experienced difficulty in getting care from traditional sources. We will provide this care in a manner that is respectful of the person’s dignity and life situation, without regard to their social economic status, culture, race or ethnicity or their gender of sexual orientation.

Our Community

The South of Market Health Center serves the South of Market area and the surrounding neighborhoods of San Francisco. Together, these neighborhoods make up culturally and linguistically diverse population that represent dense and economically disadvantaged areas of the city i;e Tenderloin area, Potrero Hill and Bayview–Hunters Point. Sixty one percent receive public insurance benefits and 37 percent are uninsured. Residents within the South of Market service area have a number of health disparities that are symptomatic of a population that is low income, lacks health insurance and has a significant number of people experiencing homelessness.

Our Patients often have a combination of mental and physical health problems and we believe that by helping our clients overcome these health challenges, we can help close the gap on health disparities in the areas we serve.

Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

SMHC is committed to ensuring the linguistic needs and cultural differences of our members are met and provide an array of services through internal sources and external partnerships.

Access to individuals who are trained, professional interpreters. SMHC offers face-to-face or telephonic interpreter services that may be arranged through Language Line services that are available 24/7. Approximately 150 languages are available to assist providers and members in communicating with each other when there are no other translators available for the language.

TDD access is available to members who are hearing-impaired.

For California Relay Service, please dial 711.

Governance

SMHC’s governing board of directors consists of patients of the health center and local leaders of the community.

These dedicated individuals participate and approve all major organizational decisions and act as representatives of the communities and special populations we serve.