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 such that according to the 2017 guidelines, the 200% FPL ranged from a family size of one with an annual income of $24,120 to a family size of eight with an annual income of $82,640.

Our Staff

We are a volunteer-driven organization with compassionate volunteers donating over 10,000 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

Patient Care Coordinator – Carrie Vorpagel

Dental Program Coordinator – Mary Beth Egert

Nurse Coordinator – Sara Nemetz, RN

Volunteer Coordinator – Cortney Shiroda

Community Relations Coordinator – Becke Connelly

Pharmacy Technician – Nancy Kemp, C-PharmTech

Medical Receptionist – Nikki Leal

Dentist – Dana Lubet, DDS

Dental Hygienist – Rachel Snedeker, R.D.H.

Dental Assistant – Ashley Kanak

Board of Directors

2019 Board of Directors
Jeffrey Scherer, MD, President
Joseph Bidwill, Vice President
Richard Mueller, RPh, Treasurer
Lisa Krolow, Secretary

Colleen Anderson, MD
Jeffrey Bahr, MD
Kevin Demet, Atty
Steven Jensen
Kathleen McLaughlin
Catherine Rapp, RN
Deb Sitter, RN
Karla Tildahl, RN
Nick Vorpagel
Robert Youngquist, DDS
Rev. Daniel Sanders, Founder