Mission & History

Open Arms Free Clinic (OAFC) is the first and only volunteer-driven medical and supportive care clinic in Walworth County serving low-income and uninsured residents with primary medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, lab, and pharmaceutical assistance. Created in December 2011, and expanded in April 2015, Open Arms is an independent, community-based, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to better understand and serve with compassion the health and wellness needs of the uninsured, low income, and underserved residents of Walworth County.  The clinic derives all its operating income solely from private donations, foundations, grants, and fundraising events.

Our Patients

Men, women, and children who live or work in Walworth County receive basic health care at Open Arms Free Clinic.  We serve the working poor and uninsured.  With over 100,000 residents in the county, over 40% of Walworth County’s population struggle financially for basic needs (2013 Census Data). While the median household income in the county is $55,237, the per capita income is $27,410. We serve people with a household income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Rate.

What does “200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)” mean? Every year the federal government updates a guideline to define poverty. The ratio is calculated with the number of people in the household associated to an estimated annual income. This allows for government to use a standard guideline for all federally-subsided programs. Although OAFC does not receive any federal funding, we aim to help patients navigate other programs therefore, we mirror similar income criteria so that patients can access free medications, free mammograms, or other charitable programs for the continuity of their care. For example, in Wisconsin, the Medicaid program provides health insurance coverage for qualifying residents at or below 100% of the FPL. Medicaid Expansion states (Wisconsin is not one of them) cover up to 138% FPL. OAFC provides care at or below 200% FPL.

Our Staff

We are a volunteer-driven organization with compassionate volunteers donating over 12,000 hours annually. Volunteers have tremendous gifts to give of their time and talent, however they also have the flexibility to serve (or not) at their convenience. We aim to deliver health care as we would expect for our family and that means having consistency with care delivery. In 2015, the first paid Executive Director was hired to provide a foundation of support for the volunteers.  As funding support has grown, the paid support staff has also grown.  Meet our staff:

Executive Director – Sara Nichols,  MPH

Executive Assistant – Laura Lombardo

Medical Clinic Manager – Lori Hartz, APNP

Dental Clinic Manager – Melisa Sittler

Volunteer Coordinator – Shannon McCarthy

Operations Coordinator – John Castro

Behavioral Health Counselor – Luserito Renteria, MSW

Behavioral Health Counselor – Diana Barco, MA, MFT

Clinic Nurse – Paula Wilson, RN

Dental Hygienist – Mary Breeze, RDH

Lead Dental Assistant – Wendy Lockhart

Dental Assistant – Maritza Paniagua

Lead Patient Services Representative – Jaime Wiley

Patient Services Representatives –

Maribel Soto, Lorena De Anda, Jazmin Cataldo, Nancy Verduzco

Seal-A-Smile Dental Outreach Team – Amanda Duckwork, RDH, Christine Fisher, RDH

Board of Directors

2022 Board of Directors

  • Jeffrey Bahr, MD, President
  • Donna Neshek, RN, Vice President
  • Nick Vorpagel, Treasurer
  • Gerard Makovec, Secretary


  • Thomas Hartz
  • Steven Jensen
  • Karen Littig, LPC
  • James Lovell
  • Gerard Makovec
  • Robert Youngquist, DDS
  • Rev. Daniel Sanders, Founder


UPDATE (8/2022) - COVID Vaccine (Pfizer & Moderna) available to anyone 5 years or older.  All shots in series available. Call (262) 379-1401 to schedule your shot or ask for a free ride through Uber Health.