In April 2006, Thomas Hubbard, M.D., D.D.S. invited a group of volunteers to start the St. James the Less Free Clinic. The mission was to offer a faith-based healing ministry to Hanover County residents. Money donated to this clinic would be dedicated exclusively for patient care and necessary supplies.
In August 2006, the Saint James the Less Free Clinic became incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Soon thereafter, it became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Taxation, recognized it as a tax-exempt charitable organization.
Dedicated and hard-working volunteers modified the lower level of Saint James the Less Episcopal Church and obtained and installed donated medical and dental equipment. With rent waived by the church, grants given by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and other generous donations from the community, St. James the Less Free Clinic opened to patients on October 25, 2006.
Each week the waiting room, waiting lists and the need for additional services grew. In response to this growth, four other churches in Hanover County joined the mission, established facilities and opened their doors to provide medical care.
In late 2007 the eye care clinic opened at Shiloh Baptist Church in Ashland. In March 2009 a mental health clinic opened at Ashland Christian-Disciples of Christ Church in Ashland; this was replaced by podiatric care beginning in 2010. A second dental clinic, Mechanicsville Dental Clinic, opened in October 2009. Another medical clinic opened in January 2010 at the Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Mechanicsville.
The corporate name changed from St. James the Less Free Clinic to “Hanover Interfaith Free Clinics” in an effort to show recognition and respect to the multiple churches joining in this countywide effort. Serving under one name, Hanover Interfaith Free Clinics share a common goal and mission. The clinics serve as places of volunteer missions and provide a unique outreach for many community groups and individuals to contribute toward the well-being of others. Volunteers range in age from fourteen to over eighty years. Founded and perpetuated by a spirit of volunteerism and community, the clinics are staffed solely by dedicated volunteers - no one is compensated for their service.
With volunteers, community resources and donations, medical services have expanded to include women's wellness, pain management clinics, group diabetes counseling, nutrition and health care education. With dedicated dental resources, we are able to restore missing teeth by making dentures for patients, many of whom have been without teeth for a long time. Our denture patients "graduate" with a renewed smile and confidence toward restoration of many other aspects of their lives. (The clinics have been rewarding for all who have given and for all who have received.)