Project of the Day: Common Ground Health Clinic

Common Ground Health Clinic

By the Rosehip Medics:Common Ground Health Clinic

“The Common Ground Health Clinic started on September 9, 2005 just days after hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Due to the humanitarian disaster and apparent lack of governmental response, two community activists, Sharon Johnson and Malik Rahim put out a call for healthcare workers to help meet the overwhelming need. The clinic started as a first aid station with the arrival of street medics, best known through the anti-globalization movement. The clinic was originally set up in a mosque, with space being generously donated by the Masjid Bilal.

Nurses, physicians, herbalists, acupuncturists, EMTs, social workers, and community activists came from around the world to volunteer at Common Ground Health Clinic. To date, the clinic has recorded over 60,000 patient visits- all at no charge to the patient.”

In addition to receiving patients at the clinic, the Common Ground healthcare workers acted as mobile first responders to emergencies in the weeks and months after the hurricane. As Noah and Grace share with us in their interviews, the community also possessed a large and informal preexisting network (unaffiliated with the clinic), which allowed individuals to rely on one another for early response to crises, as well as limited treatment and transportation in the event of non-life-threatening emergencies.” (

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