The mission of the Agape Clinic is to provide quality healthcare services unconditionally to underserved people. Dr. Barbara Baxter, Founder & Medical Director, envisioned a community clinic where people with limited access to healthcare could receive free medical services. The Agape Clinic (Agape) opened its doors in 1983 in a basement closet of Grace United Methodist Church, providing free healthcare on Saturdays. Initially, about half of the visits were for urgent medical events and the other half were for vaccines. At this time, Agape was the only clinic providing childhood vaccinations through Dallas County Health Department on Saturdays.
In 2000, Charles Kemp, a professor of nursing and a nurse practitioner from Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing brought his Thursday night clinic over to Grace Methodist and began using the Agape Clinic site to teach community health to his class of student nurse practitioners. He used Agape as a base for home visits his students made (Baylor Community Care). For ten years, from 2000 to 2010, Charles developed the clinic and led to its expansion to a four-day a week medical practice. He initiated partnerships with LabCorp, Americares, and Direct Relief for donations of laboratory services and medications.
As partnerships grew with Dallas County Health, LabCorp, Americares, and Direct Relief opportunities opened for the Agape Clinic to expand the services offered to Dallas’ underserved and marginalized communities. In 2005, in partnership with Dr. Carrie Kovarik, Agape launched the first specialty clinic providing dermatology services.
In 2010, clinic programs and outreach within the community began to expand. Agape grew to include women and LGBTQ+ health programs.
In 2015, Agape partnered with Texas A&M Dental School, launched a capital campaign, and purchased a medical building across the street from Grace United Methodist Church. This new facility opened in June 2016 to include 13 medical exam rooms, 7 full dental suites, and a multipurpose medical space; expanding healthcare services to six days per week. In 2017, refugee care, primarily for Burmese, Afghanistan, & African refugees, became available on Sunday afternoons, further expanding healthcare access at Agape to seven days a week.
Agape is committed to delivering excellent care to the underserved community. Currently, the Agape Clinic provides primary care, women’s, and dental services while expanding programming to support pediatric care and behavioral wellness. Through the enhancement of comprehensive healthcare services, Agape removes barriers to patient care and serves as an integrated medical home within the marginalized community.
Agape is the only 100% privately funded charity healthcare clinic located in Dallas and its surrounding area that provides care for patients without any restrictions. Due to completely private funding, patient care is unconditional. Every $1 given to the Agape Clinic is transformed into $9 worth of visits, labs, and medications.
Agape’s patients benefit from strategic partnerships with Direct Relief, Americares, LabCorp, Sam’s Club, Community Does It, and Moncrief Cancer Initiative. Agape provides educational opportunities to students from Baylor School of Nursing, Texas A&M Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, UT Southwestern, SMU, UTD, UNT, UTA, TWU, etc. Agape is generously funded by numerous individuals, churches, and foundations. Crystal Charity Ball recently named the Agape Clinic a 2022 recipient, initiating children’s medical care in East Dallas. Agape provides care to patients referred by CitySquare, Human Rights Initiative, Jubilee Park, Magdalen House, Redeemed Women, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Open Door Preschool, Wesley Rankin, Community Partners of Dallas, and Center for Survivors of Torture as well as self-referred patients and children referred by local schools.
The Agape Clinic is honored to be recognized as a Gold Participant of GuideStar Exchange and was named Nonprofit of the Year in 2019 by CNM (Certificate of Nonprofit Management). Agape received the Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship award in 2019 by Dallas Magazine and on September 13, 2021, the Agape Clinic’s community work was featured as the cover article in the Dallas Morning News. On November 18, 2021, Agape Clinic’s founder and medical director, Dr. Barbara Baxter, was celebrated and awarded the Health and Science Award of Excellence by the Dallas Historical Society.
Agape has provided care, without restriction, for 38 consecutive years to 106,000+ patient visits.