Celebrating 40 Years of Community-based Care
Clinica's Humble Beginnings
When Clinica started in 1977, we only had one clinic and six staff members who provided basic health care to about 500 Lafayette residents.
Clinica now sees nearly 55,000 patients a year. With over 400 employees, we operate six community-based medical clinics, and two dental clinics serving south Boulder, Broomfield, and west Adams counties. Today, Clinica is recognized across Colorado and nationally for our innovative care model and exceptional health outcomes.
Clinica was founded by Alicia Sanchez a single mother of seven children who truly understood the need for affordable commuity-based health care. Alicia was a single mother of seven children. And although she never finished high school and suffered from an autoimmune disease that kept her from holding a regular full-time job, she had a huge heart and was known locally as was known as “la medica.”
Before the Lafayette/Louisville area had hundreds of doctors and two, Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, south Boulder was dotted with commercial farms that hired dozens of Spanish-speaking migrant workers. People turned to Alicia when they were sick or injured and had no money.
Every week, she loaded her car “Rosie” with the area’s poor and drove to University Hospital in Denver so people could get low-cost care. She spent days waiting with them, translating and helping them understand test results. Alicia knew Lafayette and Louisville desperately needed affordable primary health care.
Through a true grassroots effort, Alicia, along with community leaders and health care providers, started Clinica in 1977. The first Clinica office was in a small, wood frame house in Lafayette. The master bedroom was divided into two exam rooms. The living room served as waiting room, check-in and medical records. The kitchen served as the clinic’s lab, complete with a chicken egg incubator in one corner that grew throat cultures.
That first annual budget of $75,000 allowed Clinica to provided care to several hundred migrant farm workers and low-income locals.