Country Doctor Community Clinic was founded in 1971 by a group of community activists that recognized the need for medical care services in their neighborhood. Originally operating from an abandoned Firestation in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Country Doctor was an all-volunteer free clinic offering services only in the evenings. As the community’s reliance on the clinic’s services grew, Country Doctor evolved into a respected primary care provider that today operates from two sites and offers a full range of health care services.
The Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center was similarly founded in 1968 by community activists committed to the ideal that health care is a right for all people. Medical clinic services were originally part of a broad spectrum of community services that was overseen and developed by the Seattle Black Panther party. In 1978 the medical program became a freestanding community clinic, and was renamed for one of the clinic’s founders, Carolyn Downs. From 1975 until 1994 the clinic operated from a location in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle. In order to better serve people of the Central Area, the clinic’s primary catchement area, the clinic was relocated in the fall of 1994 to a more central, visible part of the community on 21st and Yesler. This site is shared with the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.
In 1988 Country Doctor Community Clinic and Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center merged and became one organization. Since their founding, the clinics’ primary goal has been to provide the highest quality comprehensive health care to their patients. From that goal comes our commitment to provide comprehensive care, combining outpatient and in-patient family practice primary care with community health care and preventive health education. It is in this way that the organization has been able to have a positive impact on the health of the communities it serves.
Country Doctor Community Health Centers is a private non-profit corporation under Section 501 c 3 of the Internal Revenue Service code. The Board of Directors is the legal authority for the corporation, having responsibility for formulating policies of the organization, as well as fiduciary responsibility. The Board of Country Doctor is composed of between 10 and 20 members. 51% of the Board is required by Federal statute to be consumers of clinic services (patients). Members bring a variety of skills (legal, medical, fundraising, health planning and administration) to the Board and represent various segments of the community.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors has five standing committees – the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, the Program Committee, the Fund Development Committee and the Membership Committee. Each committee typically meets monthly and reports regularly on its activities during monthly meetings of the full Board. A member of the organization’s management team staffs each committee.
The management team of the organization is known as the Leadership Team. Under the direction of the Executive Director, this group includes the Medical Director, Director of Finance, Director of Operations, Development Director, Director of Quality Care, Quality Improvement Manager, and the Clinical Site Directors from each clinic site. This group meets regularly to participate in short term and long term planning processes and to develop the organization’s proposed budget