Formed in 1999 and officially incorporated as a not-for-profit healthcare organization in 2000, The Institute for Research & Education in Family Medicine (its original name) began as the unique vision of president, Dr. David C. Campbell. He previously served as longtime director and founder of Deaconess Hospital’s family medicine residency program.
After the sale of Deaconess Hospital to a national for-profit company, Dr. Campbell sought to continue the work of the residency program as a not-for-profit operation. Concurrently, he was approached by the St. Louis County Department of Health to provide a family practice model at three of their health center locations. This was the first of many strategic partnerships established to address the healthcare needs of the medically underserved by going into the community where people live and work, eliminating many of the barriers to access.
The organization has gone through many changes–including shortening the name–over the years that included both successes and challenges:
- Launching our first school-based clinic in the Jennings school district
- Developing our first social service partnerships with agencies such as Every Child’s Hope and Covenant House that continue today–we’ve grown to total 16 locations!
- Establishing Hancock Center, an on-campus community health clinic for students & residents
- Partnering with the St. Louis Regional Asthma Consortium
- Adding a component to address the language barrier for limited and non-English speaking populations
- Restructuring, relocating and other creative cost-saving measures in response to the changing climate for small, family practice model clinics and loss of funding from the termination of a 10-year St. Louis County Department of Health contract
- Honored with numerous awards and other recognition of our community work including the SLPS Community Partner Award, the Molina HealthcareAdvocacy and Civic Leader Award, St. Louis Crisis Nursery Man of the Year, the James A. Braun Champion of Children Award from Youth In Need, Focus St. Louis’ What’s Right With the Region Award, and many more!
IFM’s non-traditional approach of delivering healthcare at trusted points of service was established early on, and it’s what continues to set us apart from larger agencies with less flexibility. An excerpt from this archived South County Timesarticle reads:
“We’re not defined by four walls. We’re not defined by a clinic’s service area or by federal guidelines,” Campbell said. “We can take our care to schools, housing developments, neighborhood clinics and children’s homes. We take quality medical care to where patients are, and that geographic flexibility makes us unique.”
Institute for Family Medicine embodies its mission to help to uninsured and disadvantaged children and families throughout St. Louis by adhering to the mantra “Patient care first. Community health always.” We look forward to many more years of working with new and existing partners with your support.