GREEN BAY — The St. Gianna Clinic, which opened its doors in 2015 to serve people of all faiths with medical care that reflects the teachings of the Catholic Church, will end its affiliation with the Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) on Feb. 12.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to significant challenges across our communities, including operational impacts on many businesses and organizations, and we are saddened to announce our clinic’s closing,” according to a statement released by HSHS.
The St. Gianna Clinic is currently located across the street from HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center at 1727 Shawano Ave. It will move to a temporary location at the Dousman Clinic, 124 Siegler St.
“We have always been a 501C3 nonprofit, and now we will be providing all of those wonderful medical services completely under the umbrella of St. Gianna Clinic,” said Dr. Robin Goldsmith, who co-founded the clinic in 2014 with clinic board members as well as Bishop David Ricken.
“We really feel this is a great opportunity to be an even more effective witness to the truth and beauty of our amazing Catholic faith, and to bring that through the sphere of medicine to all people,” added Dr. Goldsmith.
According to Fr. John Girotti, vicar for canonical services and associate moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Green Bay, negotiations to discontinue the relationship between the clinic and HSHS began last fall.
“The decision was very complex, but mostly revolved around the administrative and financial challenges involved in running a clinic,” he said. “The new arrangement will allow the clinic to continue its mission of providing intentional Catholic health care to families in the area. HSHS worked hard to make sure that the clinic was able to transition to independence successfully.”
In its statement, HSHS offered its blessings “to the new St. Gianna Clinic, as well as to its faithful leaders, medical providers and staff as they will continue to provide care to the Green Bay community and beyond.”
Dr. Goldsmith said that the clinic’s vision statement — “To joyfully bring the healing love of Jesus Christ to all people through the science and practice of medicine” — guides all of its endeavors. It focuses on family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, she said, “especially women’s health and infertility subspecialty.”
In addition to Dr. Goldsmith, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Appleton, the clinic is served by Dr. Scott Stillwell, a family practice physician, and Dr. Charles Cassidy, who provides family medicine and women’s care services. Dr. Madeleine Guevera, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, will join the clinic on Feb. 13.
The clinic is open to new patients, according to Dr. Goldsmith. “We have same-day appointments for anyone. We will also continue our fertility care center, where we are providing natural family planning (NFP), for any and all patients and couples,” she said.
As a clinic that serves women’s fertility care and family planning needs, Dr. Goldsmith said it offers NaPro Technology (Natural Procreative Technology).
NaPro Technology was developed by Dr. Thomas Hilgers, director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and the National Center for Women’s Health in Omaha, Neb.
“We really put in the forefront, in a faithful way, how to help couples and young people live healthy, joyful lives according to the faith, and with NaPro we do it in a very scientifically, sound, research-based way in healing women’s bodies and helping couples be able to celebrate having children,” she said.
“We will also continue our evangelization arm and teaching about faithful medicine to anyone in the diocese and beyond,” she said. “We teach at parishes, schools, conferences, to clergy and religious.”
The clinic hopes to expand its outreach to the Spanish-speaking community, both in fertility training as well as in overall practice and care, said Dr. Goldsmith. “Dr. Cassidy is fluent in Spanish and we have a great desire to serve our Spanish-speaking patients,” she said.
The St. Gianna Clinic also hopes to reach more people through a new, robust website and social media offerings.
By utilizing social media platforms, Dr. Goldsmith said the clinic will be able to “bring the beauty and truth of faithful medicine” to more people and “to really help people embrace and understand how exciting the medical care that we have been able to provide.”
The clinic is named after St. Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian wife, mother, geriatric physician and pro-life witness, who was canonized on May 16, 2004. She was the last saint canonized by St. Pope John Paul II. St. Gianna chose to allow her fourth child to be born, even after being told she should undergo an abortion or die in her effort to give birth.
St. Gianna, 39, died one week after her fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, arrived on April 21, 1962, via caesarean section. The Green Bay clinic was the first in the nation to bear her name.
While the separation from HSHS allows the St. Gianna Clinic to provide its services independently, it will require community support, said Dr. Goldsmith.
“We are in such great need of (financial) support to continue this incredible mission we are blessed with,” she said. “We are actively fundraising to hopefully find a permanent location in the next five months, so that we can permanently put down roots.”
As a 501C3 nonprofit, she said that all are tax deductible.
“Both our board and our physicians and staff feel incredibly blessed to serve our community and beyond in this field of medicine. We are grateful for all of the support and prayer we have received since our inception and we continue to keep all of you in our prayers,” said Dr. Goldsmith.
To learn more, visit stgiannaclinics.com or call (920) 945-6202.