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  • Sarah Waara

Ascension St. Ben's Clinic: Caring with dignity and respect

Updated: Jan 30

Ascension St. Ben's Clinic Staff

Ascension St. Ben’s Clinic welcomes everyone with open arms. On a recent day, a man who had major visible infections on his legs and wasn’t wearing shoes tentatively approached the entrance.

The staff at Ascension St. Ben’s welcomed the man with no questions asked.

As a social worker at the clinic, Bill Mullooly assessed the man's needs to see how he and his colleagues could help.

“This gentleman had been homeless for years and a case manager was actually able to help him get an apartment, but she called and said that he had a major infection on his legs and wanted to know if we could help him,” Bill said. “It took him a while to get here, but when he finally got here I could see the infections right away. Despite that, and what he had been through, we treated him with dignity and respect and connected him to specialists for other health needs.”

Ascension St. Ben’s is committed to providing respectful, comprehensive health services to adults who experience barriers — such as problems associated with poverty; challenges of substance abuse, mental illness or homelessness; lack of trust in the system of care; and difficulty accessing services — in traditional health settings.

Working in partnership with the Outreach Community Health Center and the St. Benedict the Moor Ministries, Ascension St. Ben’s offers primary care and social services to adults who do not have traditional access to healthcare. The clinic also has monthly onsite cardiology appointments.

Situated near downtown Milwaukee at 1004 N. 10th Street, the clinic recorded nearly 1,500 patient appointments last fiscal year (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023). Every appointment, says Bill, allows individuals to be heard, share their story and receive care from every provider they encounter.

“During every appointment we take extra time and connect with every patient because a lot of the time they are scared to go to the doctor in the first place,” said Bill, who has worked at the clinic for 28 years. “This really is a wonderful place. We can connect people with mental health resources, access to food, referrals to specialists and so much more.”

Bill shared that even though his recent patient that arrived with a major leg infection and no shoes passed away due to unrelated health concerns, his final month of life was filled with an overwhelming amount of respect, love and care, much of it given by wound care specialists at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee.

“It’s just such a beautiful thing that we can connect with individuals that are turned away from other healthcare settings and treat them with dignity and respect and provide the level of care that they deserve,” Bill said. “This clinic really is a special place.”

Care provided at Ascension St. Ben’s Clinic is made possible from community partnerships, The Catholic Community Foundation and donor generosity to Ascension Wisconsin Foundation. When you make a gift to support Ascension St. Ben’s, you are making it possible for those who are most vulnerable to receive personalized, compassionate care when they need it most.


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