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Honoring Dr. Charles Martinez – Volunteer Citizen of the Year

The Old Irving Park Community Clinic continues to receive support from the local and national news and media for the work we’re doing for the greater Chicagoland community.  The clinic has been featured on programming with Brian Williams, WGN, highlighted in foreign documentaries, and sighted in many different local articles.  Below is a sampling of the most recent and relevant news:

Award Ceremony Honoring Dr. Charles Martinez as the first Chicago Volunteer Citizen of the Year

In its first year, Direct Energy and Tribune Media Group’s Chicago Volunteer Citizen of the Year award is honoring Dr. Charles “Charlie” Martinez.

An award ceremony honoring Dr. Charles Martinez will be held on the 25th Floor Reception Room of the Tribune Tower on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 at 6:00-8:00 pm. Beverages and passed hors d’oeuvres will start at 6:00 pm with the award ceremony presented by Direct Energy and Tribune Media Group starting at 7:00 pm. The Tribune Tower is located at 435 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611.

He is the co-founder of the Old Irving Park Community Clinic (OIPCC), a free primary care facility created on the belief that all people, regardless of socio-economic status, have the right to quality health care. Its mission is to provide quality medical and behavioral health care in a dignified and respectful manner to local uninsured individuals and their families. OIPCC is proud to be one of the few free clinics to offer both behavioral health and medical services under one roof.

Six years ago, Martinez, a former nuclear medicine specialist, and George Maltezos (deceased) a childhood friend decided to start a clinic that would help those without one of the most important necessities: health care. Growing up, Martinez’s family didn’t have health insurance, so when he was injured as a child he immediately worried about how his family would afford his medical bills. Today, Dr. Martinez has devoted his life to the Clinic to help ease that same worry for other families. Patients include uninsured working individuals, unemployed individuals who do not qualify for any type of government assistance programs, and those that are unable to access any financial resources for payment for health care.

As a man in his 70’s, many would think that Dr. Martinez should be enjoying the stress-free days of his retirement. Instead, he volunteers 5 days a week, mostly 8 hours each day, at the Old Irving Park Community Clinic. He leads the medical staff by networking within the community to obtain free tests and specialist referrals, and serving as a provider a few days per week. In addition to his clinical expertise and advocating for patients, he also serves on the board of directors and is a key player in board development for the Clinic’s future evolution. Since 2007, the Clinic has helped more than 3,500 patients. In 2012, the Clinic had 7,000 patient visits providing nearly $1.8 Million worth of services free of charge. In his nomination, Dr. Martinez is described as “level-headed, gentle and a true inspiration to those in the medical community.” He delivers care with respect and treats every patient with the dignity they deserve as human beings.