Chattanooga Clinic Makes Headlines for Supporting our Latino Community

By Abdiel Vallejo-Lopez

 In a recent Forbes article, former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist highlighted a Chattanooga clinic that’s reinventing community healthcare and impacting the lives of our Latino population. Clínica Médicos in downtown Chattanooga is on a mission to break down the social barriers between public health and our multicultural communities. 

Founded over six years ago by Dr. Kelly Arnold, Clínica Médicos offers comprehensive care and services to Chattanooga’s large Latino community. Dr. Arnold, along with her team of bilingual doctors and staff, provide service to an estimated 40,000 patients —over 90% of whom are Latino and over 50% are uninsured. The clinic runs on a philanthropic mission to make quality care affordable and accessible for underrepresented Latinos in Tennessee by offering reduced rates for services including vaccines, clinical exams and prenatal care. 

The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga reports that Clínica Médicos saves its patients upwards of 90% on medical bills, reducing the cost of an average emergency visit from $4,000 to $135. Supported in part through donations, the clinic serves as an investment toward integrating multicultural groups into our community. 

“When I look at the patients here it’s not just about looking at them as Latino, or underserved. These are Chattanoogans. These children that I see as patients are going to one day work with my children. This is the future of Chattanooga,” Arnold says. 

On top of its affordability, the clinic strives to be a one-stop resource for those in need by handling a wide range of medical procedures in-house. “80% of our patients needs can be taken care of in one place, and we have a very low referral rate,” Arnold says. “Why? The accessibility of our model, the amplitude of our training, and the tech and services we provide at point of care.” 

This model of compassionate care emphasizes Chattanooga’s vision of collaboration and social impact to close cultural gaps within our community.