San Antonio doctor uses his love of art to help uninsured patients

Casa Salud is a clinic on the south side that helps those who are uninsured and undocumented

A medical clinic on San Antonio’s South Side may look like an art gallery on the inside but the paintings serve a big purpose.
A medical clinic on San Antonio’s South Side may look like an art gallery on the inside but the paintings serve a big purpose.

SAN ANTONIO – A medical clinic on San Antonio’s South Side may look like an art gallery on the inside but the paintings serve a big purpose.

Casa Salud Family Medicine Clinic is a clinic for those that are uninsured or undocumented, and the person behind it all is Dr. Ray Altamirano.

“Our doors are open to everybody,” Altamirano said.

One way the clinic can provide to those who are uninsured is by proceeds Altamirano gets from selling his paintings.

“It’s a hobby and the proceeds I make from this we try to fund people who can’t pay for their visits,” Altamirano said.

Paintings can be seen throughout the clinic and are usually of pop culture icons and popular figures of San Antonio.

Altamirano saw the need in the community to access affordable medical care and figured out a business model that costs patients one flat fee.

“So many people are leaving health insurance, and not by choice,” Altamirano said.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report revealed that the number of uninsured people in the United States continues to increase and the Hispanic community is the most affected.

With no questions asked about insurance or legal status, Altamirano will give a patient a basic check-up, with some lab work for $100 and those who can’t afford that can receive a free check-up with the proceeds from the paintings.

Recently, more community leaders and individuals have also been making donations so more people can get free visits.

“Just trying to cater to this demographic that needs it the most,” Altamirano said.

Altamirano hopes his clinic can serve as a model for others and help more patients in need across the city.

If you would like to look at Altamirano’s paintings, you can visit the Casa Salud website.

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About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter.