Community Health-In Partnership-Services (CHIPS) evolved out of a health advocacy movement of community members concerned about the health disparities and social conditions that existed on the near north side of St. Louis. In the late 1980’s a Federally Qualified Health Center on North Grand closed, leaving a healthcare void in a heavily populated area. Church pastors were inundated with requests for help in accessing medical services that they were unprepared to meet. Nurse practitioner Judy Bentley joined with church pastors and the faith community to find a solution.

Three public forums were held to encourage input and empower community members to identify what they saw as their greatest needs and the services they would like to access.  Responding to the many dynamics of a fragmented community, efforts of the core group gave voice to many people that were unable to speak for themselves.  Enthusiastic planning included hosting a large Health and Social Services Fair – the first in North St. Louis – in collaboration with churches, hospitals, community agencies and volunteers. The result was the founding of CHIPS free health clinic in the basement of St. Teresa of Avilla Church in May, 1990.


Volunteer medical professionals from St. Louis University and St. Mary’s Hospital came together under Mrs. Bentley’s leadership to provide health screenings and assessments, to educate and advocate for the uninsured and underserved and make referrals to appropriate health care providers. Soon a new building was constructed on the church grounds for CHIPS. Retired and practicing physicians from St. John’s Mercy and St. Louis University Hospitals came to volunteer, providing the poor with a new source of primary and preventive health care.

CHIPS has provided free health and social services to the underserved, uninsured, low-moderate income populations for 26 years. 



Today, CHIPS is a critical access point for health care and social services, providing over 25,000 service encounters a year. Every year CHIPS' providers, volunteers and donors give  their time, professional skills and financial support to bring preventive and primary care, dentistry, behavioral health, wellness programs, health education and managed referrals to a high-risk population.


The CHIPS team encourages clients to take personal responsibility for their health and wellness. As a result, less than one percent of CHIPS’ clients were hospitalized last year, saving the community approximately $8,700,000 in charity care.




CHIPS location:
2431 No. Grand Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63106-1018
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