Wisconsin Primary Care Office - Free Clinics

Free clinics are volunteer-based organizations that provide a range of outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and mental health care to low-income, un/underinsured individuals.  Free clinics:

  • Are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization or are affiliated with one
  • Use volunteer health professionals and may use some paid administrative staff
  • Have no specific federal or state definition or regulation

Funding Support: Donations, small grants; some clinics have small patient co-pays.


Wisconsin Volunteer Health Care Provider Program (VHCP) – A state program that can provide liability coverage for licensed health professionals who volunteer their services to provide outpatient care at free clinics. In April 2014, Wisconsin Acts 241 and 344 became effective, amending Wis. Stat. § 146.89 which authorizes the program. These acts authorized a few key changes:

  • Program administration will move from the Department of Administration to the Department of Health Services.
  • Clinic and non-profit sites will be responsible for credentialing providers.
  • The current paper application process for registering volunteer providers will be replaced with an online registration and management system.

VHCP Online registration and management system

Optional log sheet to assist volunteers in keeping track of their data:  VHCP Log Sheet (PDF, 356  KB)

Questions about the Volunteer Health Care Program:  DHSVHCP@dhs.wisconsin.gov


Resources for communities interested in developing a free clinic:

Last Revised: May 18, 2015