Beloved SH Volunteer Dr. Bill Schwartz Continues to Practice Goodwill

In the early 1990s, Dr. Bill Schwartz led the effort to establish a free medical clinic to provide healthcare services to members of our local community without health insurance. Shortly after, the Samaritan House Free Medical Clinic of San Mateo was established. Now the clinic is nationally renowned for its ability to deliver the highest quality medical and dental services to our low-income neighbors at a fraction of what such services traditionally cost. The success of the program is in large part from Dr. Schwartz, who founded the clinic then recruited his fellow retired physicians to donate their services to his effort. Today, the San Mateo clinic and its corollary in Redwood City clock over 9,000 patient visits per year, without ever charging a penny.

Dr. Schwartz

Dr. Schwartz examines a patient at the Samaritan House Free Medical Clinic of San Mateo. SF Chronicle photo by Katy Raddatz

Now, Dr. Schwartz now continues to share his goodwill with another organization. Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF), founded by Bill Somerville in 1991, is a foundation that strives to discover the most efficient ways to allocate the grant money it raises for Bay Area causes. PVF’s areas of focus include Teacher Resource Grants, Programs for Foster Youth, and Community Initiatives.

Dr. Schwartz recently completed a trial run of one of PVF’s newest programs called “Doctors in the Classroom.” As the name suggests, the idea is to have doctors visit classrooms and teach about health. Students are able to discuss health concerns, plus learn how to become a doctor and what doctors do. PVF’s July newsletter described the trial run:

“Dr. Schwartz brought his bag with a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, reflex hammer and other items to a middle school classroom. Students took each other’s blood pressure, listened to their hearts and generally became animated by the presentation.  Dr. Schwartz volunteered his time, he is retired after years of service in family medicine.” (Progress, July 2011)

After a successful visit to the East Palo Alto classroom, the program is expected to begin this fall in grades K-12.

We are so happy to see Dr. Schwartz lending his efforts to extend his impact in our community. Thank you, Dr. Schwartz, for everything you do!


Check out the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation at or become a fan of their Facebook page.


About samaritanhouseblog

With over 30 years of experience, Samaritan House provides a broad range of services and resources to low-income residents in San Mateo County. Services include case management, clothing, medical care, food, shelter, employment assistance, and food and toys for the holidays. All services are provided free of charge to low-income families.
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