News Headlines Article

Guerrilla health care
Chico News and Review

In April 2007, Teleen Santillán showed up at the Shalom Free Clinic. She knew she was sick, but she was nevertheless surprised when a doctor, after conducting a simple urine test, told her to go to the hospital without delay.

“No, I can’t go, I can’t pay,” she told Shalom staffers. “They said, ‘Just go, and figure out what to do about the bill later.’” That visit, said 40-year-old Santillán, saved her life—over the next several years, she would suffer with pancreatitis and out-of-control diabetes—even though the Enloe Medical Center bills would set her on the road to financial ruin.